Category Archives for "mindset"

Why you should treat aging like a competitive sport – Sharkie Zartman

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This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Reel Paper. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/tp and use the discount code 40plus to get 25% off.

Sharkie Zartman is a former volleyball athlete and champion competitor, UCLA, where her jersey was retired. She was a member of the USA Women's National Volleyball Team, USA all-American, and also competed in the Women's Professional Volleyball Association for five years and is a member of the California Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame. As a coach, she led El Camino College to nine conference championships and two state titles. With her husband Pat she helped the South Bay Spoilers Club team win three national youth titles. She holds degrees in kinesiology and instructional technology. She teaches health and fitness at the community college level and hosts Sharkie's pep talk on Healthy Life radio, where she motivates people to take charge of their health and wellness.


[00:02:53.190] – Allan
Hey Ras how you doing.

[00:02:55.170] – Ras
Great. How are you today Allan.

[00:02:56.790] – Allan
I'm doing pretty good. Feeling really good. You know life has it, things are really, really good and things are opening up here in Panama so it looks like my wife and I are going to get an opportunity to come back to the states for a little while, visit family. We've been storing all of our crap what crap we have left. You know, you say you sold everything, but we didn't sell everything. We ended up with a whole garage full of stuff that's in our daughter's garage feeling kind of bad that it's been there for as long as it's been there because we moved it all in there over a year ago. And so she's like, you know, she's really cool about it, actually cooler than I would be.

[00:03:38.690] – Allan
But it's like I've got to get there and get that. Plus some of the equipment, some of the stuff that's in there. I went for the gym. Now, the gym is not going to open any time soon. Panama looks at gyms and things. We're just like disco tecs and, you know, that kind of thing. So, yeah, they haven't opened the schools. They're not going to open the discotheques and they're not going to let us open the gym. So we take advantage of the time that the gyms closed to go ahead and take a trip to the United States, get that equipment, get it in there. So when people do come back. It's going to be a pretty cool place.

[00:04:07.750] – Ras
Awesome, that sounds great.

[00:04:10.200] – Allan
So let's go ahead introduce today's guest.

[00:04:13.250] – Ras
All right.

[00:05:03.320] – Allan
Sharkie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:06.110] – Sharkie
Thank you, Allan. Happy to be here.

[00:05:08.220] – Allan
You know, as someone who kind of grew up being an athlete, I just have to say I love the title of your book, When at Aging How to Stay Fit Free and Love Your Retirement. I just like that whole concept of winning this thing is just really, really uplifting.

[00:05:24.000] – Sharkie
Well, thank you. We all want to win. Right. So it's an empowered approach to life and aging.

[00:05:31.890] – Allan
And I think it's just one of those things where not many people approach this from the perspective of as a manageable thing like you're managing a game or you're managing a sport. And there are strategies and there are rules and there are things you can do and you have to play the game right or you age faster than you should.

[00:05:52.270] – Sharkie
Right, exactly. And that's what I'm trying to get out there because I see a lot of people that hit a certain age. I think 50 is probably the age where most people kind of go, oh, my gosh, what's going on? This is crummy. What can I do? And so, yeah, this is meant to help.

[00:06:12.810] – Allan
Good, good. And I think it will because some of the things you share in here, I think are just classic. There are things that we all should be doing. Rather we're fifteen or eighty-five, you know, because we want to live a long, healthy life here. And it's not about longevity, it's about having a quality of life, which is part of what winning is about. We've got to do the right things.

[00:06:36.240] – Sharkie
Exactly. It takes work.

[00:06:39.870] – Allan
Everything worth while does. So in the book, you share what you call some rules of aging, because we're approaching this like a game. And if we want to win, we need to know the rules. Can you go through some of the rules of aging so anyone getting ready to age knows how to play the game?

[00:06:58.910] – Sharkie
Sure. Well, I came up with these, so you probably won't find them any place else. But as I was going through studying the process and comparing it to sports, I thought, well, as an athlete, you need to know the rules of the game. So here are the ones I came up with. And the first thing is every living thing ages. And so it's not something that we can avoid, but we can control it. So that's the good news.

[00:07:27.420] – Sharkie
But we're all going to go through some kind of process with aging. It's not, and you know, the only alternative is actually leaving the planet. So it's something we're all going to do. And if we're lucky. Right. And also, I want to make sure that people know that you can live a healthy, fulfilling life at any age, but it does take work. We can't just do nothing. Like we were younger, don't remember getting away with stuff like partying all night or and feeling great the next day.

[00:08:00.180] – Sharkie
But that's not going to happen as we get older. So we have to realize that it does take work if we want to have a positive, vibrant life as we get older. And here's one that I want people to know. We are responsible for how we handle the aging process. Our doctors can only do so much. And I think a lot of times we just sort of, oh, I don't feel good, my doctor will take care of me.

[00:08:28.770] – Sharkie
Well, that's not the way it is and winning at aging. We have to be responsible for our lifestyle and how we feel as we get older. Because the doctor is just going to bring us back from disease. Right. That's what they do. So but another thing that I think is really cool is the rate of aging is actually related to our lifestyle, our attitude, and genetics. And the cool thing is that we can control two out of those three things.

[00:09:00.360] – Sharkie
Obviously, we can't control genetics, but we can control our lifestyle and our attitudes. And so that's what we need to focus on. And then the physiological and psychological conditions are really more important than our chronological age. So in other words, don't you know people that are 80, that are vibrant and healthy and other people have all sorts of physical and mental problems. So it's not really the age. So it's again, a lot of these things are controllable.

[00:09:34.440] – Sharkie
We don't get older at the same rate and have the same conditions. It's an individualized process. And when it comes to aging, it doesn't matter who you are, it matters what you do. And also we have to respect aging. I call aging in the book a bitch. So respect study and understand the beast or she will take away your quality of life. And again, how we age is up to us. We need to get in the driver's seat. We need to get behind the wheel. We need to stop being a passenger and a back seat driver. So that's the rules of aging and understanding those things. That's how we're going to win.

[00:10:20.100] – Allan
Awesome. Awesome. Now, in the book, when you talk about getting healthy, I guess, or dealing with our aging, you used an acronym and I'm like one of these. I go crazy for acronyms. I love them, but your acronym is RAP. Can you tell us about what the pieces are of RAP and why each is important?

[00:10:40.850] – Sharkie
Right. I call it the power of rap. And it's really getting your mind on board because most people focus on their bodies. But if your mind isn't on board, you're not going to get the results that you want. So the mind and body have to be working together. And the three characteristics as an athlete that I think all top athletes share are: Resiliency. That's R. Accountability and Purpose. So did you want me to go through those three and explain them to you?

[00:11:13.880] – Allan
Yes, please.

[00:11:15.590] – Sharkie
OK, so Resiliency, agings a challenge. And so we have to, if we're going to take this path, which most of us are going to do. We have to toughen up. And as an athlete, when, if you played a sport, you didn't probably moan and groan or quit when you lost a game or something happened. You stepped up, you went back to practice and you did it again and you tried again. And so that's what we have to have resiliency. If we get knocked down, we need to brush it off, get back up, and keep going.

[00:11:53.920] – Sharkie
So winning and aging is tough. It's not for wimps, that's for sure. So we have to quit complaining and just say, OK, this is the way it is and I can do this and I'm going to control what I can control. So the Rocky movies are a great example of how many times did that guy get knocked down and get back up.

[00:12:18.710] – Sharkie
So and the second one is accountability. And I think we have a serious problem with accountability in our society today. It's like nobody wants to take responsibility for their choices.

[00:12:31.030] – Allan

[00:12:31.790] – Sharkie
So, but as we get older, we have to start doing that. We have to take a look at what got us where we are today, and we have to accept the responsibility for that. So we really have to say, hey, you know, I made these choices because of that. Maybe that's why I'm dealing with this and I can change those choices. Too often people blame other people or blame the conditions. And as an athlete, you probably know, that that never got you better at your sport. So that's the accountability factor.

[00:13:10.880] – Sharkie
And I use a fun story in the book about this guy at this conference I went to with all these trainers and they were trying to say the coolest things that are out there in terms of supplements and gimmicks. And this guy came up when it goes, I don't know everything about it goes, but I have something that works just tell your client to stand in front of the mirror with no clothes on and say, I am responsible for this and I am the only person that can fix it. That was a powerful message.

[00:13:40.490] – Allan
There you go.

[00:13:43.040] – Sharkie
And the last one is purpose. And I know that that means a lot of things to a lot of different people. But basically, it's knowing what you want and start being excited about getting it. I think too often early in our lives, we're trying to make ends meet. We're taking care of our family. We're concerned about our careers. But a lot of times after 50, now's the time for us to kind of go, hey, what do I really want?

[00:14:13.940] – Sharkie
We've never really asked ourselves that question before. And once we find out and it's different for everybody and that can be more than one purpose, it gets you excited about life. It gets you excited about getting up in the morning and getting going. And a lot of times when people retire and they lose some self-worth because they're not doing this what they've done for so many years. And but they still have their gifts. They still have their energy. And so they just need to find a way to channel that. And so those are the three things that I think are really, really important. The three characteristics that you need to win at aging.

[00:14:56.120] – Allan
Yeah, I completely agree because things are going to happen. You had a knee replacement, I think you said, that was that required rehab, required some really hard work to work through that you easily could have just quit and said, OK, well, now I'm just going to sit here and start doing something like reading because I can't get back in the gym. I can't go do my exercises. I can't do the things I was doing. But you did the rehab, so now you can.

[00:15:26.530] – Sharkie
Right, and I got to tell you, anybody that's considering a knee replacement, it's not an easy surgery to recover from. I was six hours on this machine every day that took my leg through different ranges of motion. And I had to do that to get back to one 120 degrees in flexion and extension. And it was hard and it was painful. But I went, there's no way I'm going to have gone through that surgery and not come out better. So, yeah, I got to do it.

[00:16:02.740] – Allan
I tore a rotator cuff and, you know, went through and I had the surgery on a Thursday and I was in rehab on Monday. And I was like, I'm not playing around with this. I'm going to get this shoulder back as quickly as I possibly can.

[00:16:17.590] – Sharkie
Good for you.

[00:16:18.580] – Allan
And then and then the other two, I think we can look at the Blue Zones and some of the other books that are out there, and they kind of make it clear if we don't have a purpose, we don't have a fire. And if we don't have a fire, then that's not really the life we want to live anyway.

[00:16:34.240] – Sharkie

[00:16:34.860] – Allan
And then after that, it's like, OK, so here you are and you have this self-awareness. What are you going to do about it? And, you know, we don't have necessarily, unless you hire someone, you don't have a coach out on the field telling you, OK, run this play, do that play, do this thing. You've got to figure some of that out for yourself.

[00:16:52.660] – Allan
But the reality is that information's there. It's not rocket science, even though the body's a really complex organism, we know the things we're supposed to be doing, eating whole food, moving, meditating, sleeping. You know, we all know those things. So I think it's really important for folks to really wrap their head around all three of these in your RAP, because it is each and every one of them is important. You can't get there without all three of them.

[00:17:20.980] – Allan
Yes. Yes.

[00:17:23.230] – Allan
Now, you brought another concept into this thing and again, goes back to your sports and athletic days, the concept of playing offense and defense, because I think most of us are thinking and just thinking in terms of, well, we're going to play this game and play defense. I'm going to try to avoid getting older. I'm going to try to avoid hurting myself. I'm going to, you know, try to avoid some of the things that maybe I did in my 20s and 30s. You know, we're thinking of it from a defensive perspective, but you say we have to do both. If we're going to win this game.

[00:17:54.090] – Sharkie
We really do offense, obviously scoring. So if you're in a team sport, you want to score. And defense is preventing the other team from scoring. And actually, when when you're in sports, I think a lot of times people focus more on offense. Right. So like a coach that wants to run and gun and just in basketball and get down and shoot within eight seconds. And, you know, basically, if if you're successful, you're going to win, right. Because you get more opportunities at shooting.

[00:18:28.900] – Sharkie
But a lot of times sports, they actually don't work enough on defense. And defense, if two teams are similar defense is preventing the other team from scoring. Right. So you need them both. You need them both. And so you need to be proactive in terms of offense. You need to go after a healthy lifestyle. It's on you. It's your responsibility. You need to do this. The doctor is not going to make you do it.

[00:19:03.910] – Sharkie
So but defense, I think, is what I'm looking at defense in terms of what aging is, prevention. And, you know, taking a look at something like COVID, which hopefully will go away soon. You know, we all hear the prevention. Wash your hands, social distancing, masks, don't go to large gatherings, eventually have a vaccine. So COVID doesn't win. And so I think that we need to have both. And there's a lot of overlap between the two. But we can't just focus on one. We can't just focus on defense. We can't just focus on offense.

[00:19:48.170] – Allan
Yeah. And I completely agree with you. There is one thing I'd like to say is, you know, with COVID and again, I agree with you, I hope this is something we get rid of and don't have to deal with again, for a long, long time. But I hate the term social distancing because to me, it's a horrible, horrible choice of words.

[00:20:11.310] – Sharkie
It is!

[00:20:12.270] – Allan
We want physical distancing.

[00:20:14.070] – Sharkie

[00:20:15.150] – Allan
So we need social you know, that's part of purpose. That's part of why I'm doing what I'm doing, you know, so I don't want to socially distance myself from the people that I care about. I want to be, you know, not necessarily physically around them, because that's you know, that's part of the issue. I have to be smart about it. But I think the core of this is that defense isn't all that sexy. You know, it's just washing your hands, doesn't seem like, you know, a big, sexy thing to do, whereas, you know, get on the bike and go for a ride and you know, and you're enjoying the outdoors and you get at the same time, feeling the wind on your face.

[00:20:51.750] – Allan
And, you know, you break a record because you went faster this time than you've gone in a long, long time. So you have a new PR and that's exciting. That's fun. That scoring is fun. Sometimes it's just, you know, brush your teeth, wash your hair. You know.

[00:21:07.200] – Sharkie
I know, prevention is not fun.

[00:21:11.430] – Allan
Yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:14.830] – Sharkie
Offense is fun.

[00:21:14.870] – Allan
But you still have you still have to do both.

[00:21:17.490] – Sharkie

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[00:22:46.740] – Allan
Now, in the book, you went through the components of fitness, and I always like to, if I see someone who's written about this, I really, I like to come back to this, because I think it's, you know, will typically if we start working on fitness, there will be something that we're going to be really, really good at. Like you might be really good at cardio and you can ride your bike forever and you can go, go, go, go, go. But you lack upper body strength or you don't have much mobility or balance. Can you go through the components of fitness and why each one, what we should be doing for each one of those, particularly as we start getting older.

[00:23:22.080] – Sharkie
Right. Right. Well, first of all, we need to know that they are all important and so you can't just be healthy and when at aging, just doing one thing. And so the one that gets the most attention usually is cardiorespiratory endurance because it's systematic, which means that affects all the systems of the body. And the definition of that just scientific is the ability of the heart and lungs to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells and eliminate waste products so the cells can do their jobs.

[00:23:56.490] – Sharkie
And so that's basically what it is. And as most of us know, that's prolonged, sustained large muscle movements. Like riding your bike, like walking, jogging. And so usually the timeline on this is to do so at least for 30 minutes a day. And yet it used to be that that was the main guideline. But now we know that we can cut it into chunks. It doesn't have to be non-stop for 30 minutes. And so we can cut it into chunks and still get the benefits from it.

[00:24:33.780] – Sharkie
And there are so many things that we can do with cardiorespiratory endurance. And I think especially now people need to get creative, because a lot of the things that they've done in the past, they can't do anymore because of everything shutting down. So, yeah, and getting outside is a great way to get your cardiorespiratory endurance. Writing an exercise bike indoors is very different than riding it outdoors, right?

[00:25:05.160] – Allan

[00:25:06.670] – Sharkie
Yes. And so that's the one that gets the most attention, but one that I think is especially important, especially as we age, is the muscle fitness, which is muscle strength and muscle endurance because as we age, we lose muscle mass if we don't work on keeping it. And as you know, a lot of people, as they get older in their 80s, a lot of times they lose their mobility and nobody wants to lose that. And so we have to keep our muscles strong and active. And there are two components. Again, muscle strength, muscle endurance, we can work on them together or we can work them separately. Most people work them together, and that's just lifting weights or doing resistance training. And the reps would be somewhere between 8 and 12 reps.

[00:26:02.400] – Sharkie
And you can do a whole muscle resistance training workout in 20 minutes and so it doesn't take that much time. And you can do it at home with weight machines, you can get strap's I have a TRX machine at home that really works. So there's a lot of different ways to do that. Resistance training. It's not just on the machines that you have at the gym. And so those two are very important. But flexibility is too, that range of motion present at a joint. I mean, we want to be able to move our bodies so we can get up off the floor. Right.

[00:26:44.470] – Sharkie
And that involves stretching, making sure that we do work the joints through their full range of motion each and every day. And one of the best ways that I like to do it is through yoga. There are so many different yoga practices out there. Some of them are physical. Some bring in other components like meditation. But combining flexibility with your other workouts for cardiorespiratory endurance and muscle strength is very doable. So there's a lot of hybrid workouts out there that do all three.

[00:27:19.770] – Sharkie
And the last one I would like to talk about his body composition because and that's the proportion of body fat to the fat-free mass. And people need to understand body composition is, because otherwise a lot of times people start a resistance training program and then they stand on the scale and they go, oh my God, I've gained weight, especially for women. And a lot of times that's muscle mass. That's. Good. So getting a body composition test is really, really important to know what that mass is.

[00:27:54.990] – Sharkie
Obviously muscle. We want muscle and if we have too much body fat, we'd like to get rid of that. But what happens as we get older, especially when we get to be over 40 with losing that muscle mass, ok, and a lot of times we don't notice it happening. We start to put on body fat, ok, and we're doing the same things. It's kind of like we haven't changed our lifestyle, but we start gaining weight. And I think especially this happens to women and so. So we need to be aware of body composition. So those are the components, muscle strength, muscle endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, and body composition. We need them all to win it aging. Yes.

[00:28:39.770] – Allan
Yes, I agree. That's why I wanted you to go over them because I do think it's really, really important. And the cool thing about all of them is that you mentioned yoga for flexibility and mobility. You mentioned different ways that we can get cardiovascular fitness. You mentioned different ways that we can do resistance training. And even with body composition, we can try different things. So it should never be stale. It should never get old. It should be something where you're excited to do it. You know, and particularly, I think when people want to continue sports into their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, that's an excellent opportunity because it clearly demonstrates that you're keeping yourself fit and capable.

[00:29:30.690] – Sharkie
Yeah, sports are great because they combine all of these components. I mean, you're you have to work on muscle strength, you have to have the endurance in order to go the distance, you have to have the flexibility. So, yeah, you're right. So sports are a great alternative. And people who play sports a lot of times don't realize they're working out because they're having so much fun. Right.

[00:29:56.610] – Allan
Until you're sore the next day and you're like, hey, I did something.

[00:30:03.000] – Sharkie
I earned that soreness.

[00:30:05.030] – Allan

[00:30:05.550] – Sharkie
No, we won.

[00:30:08.670] – Allan
Or we scored!

[00:30:09.300] – Sharkie
We scored

[00:30:10.020] – Allan
Yeah, the offense scored. Now we got to play some defense and get ourselves recovered and ready to go again. But, you know, in the book you talked about meditation and meditation used to be one of those things we would say woo-woo. And occasionally you would do it with yoga, you know, with a little less of a spiritual backing to it. But I think now if you didn't know meditation, I mean, they've been in a rock, if they don't know. But meditation has become a little bit more mainstream. But you mentioned three breakdowns. And I just kind of want to go through them because it's three types of meditation. So just like we talked about with fitness, there are different modalities of how you can do and accomplish that task. And it's no different with meditation. Can you talk about the three sections or approaches to meditation and what he does?

[00:31:03.450] – Sharkie
Sure, sure. The first one, I think, is the most common. It's called exclusive meditation. The reason that works a lot of times because your brain has something to focus on. Your brain likes to have something to do. Otherwise it's going to just, you're going to have the monkey mind. Right. You've got it all different times. And I think probably the one that I like the most and I've taught my yoga students is a primordial sound, exclusive meditation, where they focus on saying to themselves, SO, s o on the inhale. HUM h u m on the exhale.

[00:31:47.850] – Sharkie
And it's real easy. But for some people, it's hard because the mind likes to wander. And I tell my students, just go back when your mind starts to wander, just go back. So on the inhale hum on the exhale. Because what that's doing is it's giving your whole rest of your body a chance to relax, because if the mind is always running amok, it's yourselves are listening to your mind. So if finally, your mind has something to do that's just repetitive with just one thought, one thing, then your whole rest of your body gets to relax.

[00:32:26.340] – Sharkie
And it's an easy exercise, meditative exercise to do. And a lot of my students just really enjoy it. So they feel so much better afterward and you don't have to do it for very long. I learned this at the Show Presenter, Depok Chopra. And when I first went into that meditation room, I couldn't sit still for five minutes. After learning this technique, I could be there for 30 minutes and it felt like two minutes.

[00:32:56.180] – Sharkie
And so it's it's very powerful and it's very easy. The Inclusive one is a little harder. And so this one, you're kind of letting in the thoughts and but you sit quietly and you just let your brain do the thoughts. But the key here is to not attach any judgment or any emotion to the thoughts. So it's like you're watching them from a distance. It's like you're sitting there watching logs go down a stream one at a time. And I've done this also in my class.

[00:33:29.620] – Sharkie
Some of my students really like it because what ends up happening, you're watching yourself think and the thoughts start to slow down and eventually sometimes the thoughts stop. And you're just there totally relaxed in a meditative state. Isn't that cool? So that takes, that's a little harder than the exclusive. The mindfulness we can do every day doing anything. We don't have to sit down or lie down to do mindfulness. It's just being totally aware in the present moment.

[00:34:06.520] – Sharkie
And sometimes I'll use a mindfulness technique in terms of just doing a body awareness exercise with my students. I'll have them start at the top of their body and just send their awareness up to their forehead, or to their mouth. They become very aware of the present moment as to what's going on there. But we can do this at like when we're washing the dishes instead of thinking about everything else going on in the past or future. We're just washing the dishes and just be right in that present moment.

[00:34:42.580] – Sharkie
So the mindfulness, I think, is really cool because we can do that anywhere, any time. And it's very, very relaxing and soothing. Most of us spend our time either in the past thinking about what we did and obsessing over what we did wrong or we're worried about the future. So mindfulness is a technique on how to stay in the present moment.

[00:35:06.910] – Allan
Yeah, and guys washing the dishes counts as washing your hands so use that as some mindfulness time.

[00:35:14.560] – Sharkie
That good. That's good.

[00:35:20.620] – Allan
And I've done all three of these. And you're right, the inclusive one is kind of the hardest one because invariably I would think of something that I needed to do and I was really afraid to let that thought go. And it took me a while to say, OK, it's going to come back around. I'll remember it. I know I will. But yeah, you get something that is big and you're like, oh, I got to get that done. And yeah, now I'm sitting here not doing it. And so it's a little harder to balance. All of these are easier, particularly.

[00:35:49.990] – Allan
I mean, other than the mindfulness, I think all of the other ones are much easier if you have some guidance. So, you know, you might get some apps or go on YouTube and get some videos, you know, to listen to. But when they're guided, it makes it just a little bit easier to get into it. And you start out five minutes and you get comfortable with that. You stretch it out to a little bit longer. And yeah, before you know what you're capable of doing a lot more than you would have thought.

[00:36:15.810] – Sharkie
Right. Have you ever done a guided meditation where they actually the audio takes you to a place and describes the place and you're actually using your mind to be there? Have you ever done that?

[00:36:27.890] – Allan
Yeah. I've done one of those. I was I subscribed to the Headspace app and it had all kinds of stuff in there. And it was, part of that was the stress relief app so I spent a lot of time with that. But yeah, they had the others. I've gone on YouTube as well and listened to a few where they're like, OK, you're going to leave your body and try to imagine yourself floating above you. You see yourself there?

[00:36:51.680] – Sharkie

[00:36:52.450] – Allan
You go up to this place where you don't feel any pain, you don't feel any regret, you don't feel anywhere.

[00:36:57.980] – Sharkie
Right, that's right. Yeah. Very cool.

[00:37:01.690] – Allan
Right. So Sharkie, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:37:11.380] – Sharkie
Well, OK, I'm going to take a holistic approach to this, if you don't mind. So, yeah, I'm a health professor and I teach holistic health. So I think we need to and I'm going to talk about three that basically is most of that. But, the fourth one, if we have time, some people will find it harder. The first one people will identify with that, because that is talking about your body, that your body in terms of what you can do to make your body healthier. And that's the wellness.

[00:37:45.550] – Sharkie
So one area that I think a lot of us, the nutrition and all of us want to know what's the best way to eat, and there is an idea called bio-individuality, which actually means we're all different. There's not one diet that is for all of us. So we need to spend some time figuring out the kinds of foods that feel good in our bodies and help us live our lives. And because there are some foods out there that are deemed healthy, but they're not healthy for some people. Some people have food allergies. Right.

[00:38:26.030] – Sharkie
So it takes time and motivation to really explore foods in terms of what we enjoy, what feels good inside of our bodies. And one thing I would say to everyone is to try to stay away from processed foods. You mentioned that eating whole foods because of all the toxins, the toxins put us at risk for autoimmune disease and everything else. And so if we can just stay away from those kinds of foods and add more whole foods, more fruits, and vegetables, fresh, more whole grains, more protein that is clean, we would notice a difference. And so that's the physical part.

[00:39:14.240] – Sharkie
The next one is, I think, even more important, and that's the mental-emotional components of wellness. And like I said, the mind and body are connected. So you can't just work on the body and not have the mind on board. And I think one thing that all of us can do as we age is start having a more positive mindset. You know, the paradigm for aging is it's an eventual period of decline. And that's pretty depressing. I like to say it's a challenge, it's an opportunity and it's a privilege. And so just doing that kind of changes the feeling of what aging is about. And so we need to look for the good instead of always what's wrong. It's hard to do in this day and age, but we can do it if we focus on what's good today.

[00:40:05.830] – Sharkie
We can have a journal. We can basically do this. We can look for the good and focus more on what can I do not what can't I do. What can I do that I want to do? And then I just had a person on my show, his name is Ted Larkins. He wrote the Get to Principle. He goes instead of saying, you have to do this, I get to do this. And so this is all mind-shifting towards positivity, which I think we need to do. We need to stop complaining about everything.

[00:40:40.810] – Sharkie
And the last one is social, social wellness. We need to put together our own change. We probably have a lot of people out there that draw our energy away that are negative. All they do is complain we need to get people in our lives that are positive and have the same goals as us. When I was doing a lecture once this woman raised her hand and because I told I identified those people as social vampires and she goes, What if you're married to one? And I said, well, you need to crowd him out with other people in your lives that are positive. And so and we get to choose our own team. So it's not like we're back in the days where we had tryouts and stuff to be on teams. We get to choose our own teams now, and that includes our doctors and our health providers. And so, yeah, so we need to get our team together.

[00:41:37.310] – Sharkie
And the last component is spirituality. And I tell my students, I give them one phrase, and have them think about it. Imagine that you are spiritual being having a physical experience. And when I tell them that some of them just kind of go, oh, I mean, isn't that a cool thing to think about?

[00:41:59.770] – Allan

[00:42:00.730] – Sharkie
Yeah. And so so those are the approaches, the three strategies that I use with that last one thrown in for fun.

[00:42:08.980] – Allan
Thank you, Sharkie. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, When it Aging, How to Stay Fit, Free, and Love Your Retirement, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:42:20.500] – Sharkie
My website. It's my name SharkieZartman.com. And they can also go to Amazon and the book is up and there'll be some reviews up there and some information. And also my other books can, are up on. Amazon and Barnes Noble and but basically my website has pretty much mostly what I do and my background.

[00:42:53.330] – Allan
Cool. Well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/452 and I'll be sure to have links there in the show notes. Sharkie, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:43:04.880] – Sharkie
Well, thank you for having me, Allan. It was fun.

[00:43:07.370] – Allan
Well Ras, that was a pretty cool episode, don't you think?

[00:43:15.170] – Ras
Oh, it was. Lots of good information here.

[00:43:18.380] – Allan
Yeah, she was just a spitball of fire. I really enjoyed the conversation with her. And, you know, while we were recording her, I think her husband was in the background, Pat. And it was funny because in the book he and I don't even know that I got into this in the interview so much as I did afterward. Sometimes I have better conversations afterward sometimes than I do during the actual episode. But her husband, Pat, you know, one of the things she said about him was that he wants to live until at least 200. And so I wanted her to know that I'm in Pat's corner there. I hope Pat makes it and leads the way for the rest of us to live longer, healthier lives. So it was a really cool conversation.

[00:43:53.150] – Allan
And I promise, guys, we're past that point of talking about aging. I've had three or four episodes in a row. So we will move on and will talk about some other things next week and I'll let you know what's going on. But so what were some key things that you took away from this episode Ras?

[00:44:07.760] – Ras
Well, she's got the point right on the head here is that we all want to win at aging, don't we? We want to have a really good quality of life as we get older. And sometimes that's hard to get to unless you put in the effort.

[00:44:23.700] – Allan
Yeah, I think so many times people look at the aging curve and they just think, OK, that's my path. That's what I'm going to follow. You know, my grandfather lived till he was in his 60s. My father died in his 60s. So, that's my path. They both had diabetes. Therefore, that's my path. My whole family has obesity problems and the issues that come along with that, that's my path.

[00:44:45.870] – Allan
But the reality of it is if you approach your life with the mindset that it's not your path, you decide your path, then you can change that trajectory. It doesn't have to follow the standard path where you're living the standard life expectancy of, you know, your family or your history. You can rewrite that second part. You can go on a different path and live longer, live better. And I like that she looks at it as a competition, as winning something, because if you go in with a losing mindset, then that's where you are. You know, it's the Ford quote, if you think you can. You're right. If you think you can't, you're also right. You lead a lot of what goes on with your life, with your mindset.

[00:45:34.140] – Ras
Absolutely. I like how she mentions you can't change your genetics, but you can change your attitude and you can change your lifestyle. It's so true.

[00:45:45.480] – Allan
Yeah, and so many things that we're facing today, you know, obesity, some cancers, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, a lot of these things we're learning are lifestyle diseases. We, unfortunately, we're doing it to ourselves and we've got to fix that.

[00:46:04.960] – Ras
That's so true. She mentions about being proactive with the offense, about taking the lead and leading a healthy lifestyle, making the changes to lose weight, gets healthier, get stronger, and do what you can. I mean, you just don't have to sit there and age. You can do what you can to enjoy it and improve the quality of your living as you age.

[00:46:26.590] – Allan
Yeah, I liked that she had that offensive approach along with the defense. You don't win a game without having both. But, you know, most people don't think about the offensive part of this. And one thing that I like when I'm working with clients, and they'll invariably want to use the scale as a measurement of success. And so I'll be working with them and then they'll step on the scale. And they've gained a pound. And it's like a tragedy, you know, they want to they just basically want to quit and if you look at it from the perspective of a football player. And I don't know how much you know about football, but in general, you have four downs to get 10 yards. So you have four plays to get the ten yards that you want to get.

[00:47:10.650] – Allan
And if a team goes out there on their first down and maybe they lose three yards, you know, they ran the wrong, they ran to the left and the guys on the left on their side wanted it more than our guys did. And we lost you know, we lost three yards on that play. We don't punt the ball. We don't stop. We don't quit the game and say, well, I'm just going to stop doing this. What we do is we know we have three more downs. We learn from that play. We say, hey, let's not run that play again, you know, maybe later in the game we'll open things up. But let's not run that play right now because it's not going to work. It's not working for us the way we want it to. We've got to get positive yards.

[00:47:49.070] – Allan
So now we're looking at throwing the ball or we're looking to run to the right, or we're going to do some kind of misdirection to take care of those aggressive players over there. But we do something different because we know we have more downs in us. We know we have more opportunities. So I agree with that. We can win this. We have to think of it as a total game. You know, aging is not a thing that happens to you today and something that's happening every day. So you're in the game every day whether you want to or not. You just have to choose if you're going to continue to lose those three yards, every single play, or if you're going to make some positive yardage here and there where the game lets you. And that being offensive-minded gives you that opportunity to take advantage of things.

[00:48:31.940] – Ras
That's absolutely right. And in the world of running, we, when you're out there running miles, things happen. It always does. You feel a hot spot and a blister comes on. So you stop and tend to it. You're feeling hungry. You stop and have something to eat. The whole point is, is that you're listening to what your body is telling you and you do something about it. Again, you just don't have to wait around and see what happens next. You take control and if you encounter a problem, you learn what it takes to fix it and get after it.

[00:49:03.900] – Allan
Absolutely. All right, so anything special going on for you coming up?

[00:49:12.030] – Ras
No, just running miles. It's a cut back week for me, so I'm just taking the miles a little light this week. But next week I'll be ramping back up again and I'll have some double-digit days

[00:49:23.100] – Allan
Double digits, love it.

[00:49:24.870] – Ras
My favorite!

[00:49:26.900] – Allan
A lot of me time, a lot of me time.

[00:49:29.100] – Ras
You bet ya!

[00:49:29.440] – Allan
Getting those miles, good for you.

[00:49:30.420] – Ras
For sure. Thanks.

[00:49:32.250] – Allan
Now me, the cool thing is things are slightly opening up here in Panama, so it looks like I'm going to get a chance to come back to the States for about a month to see some family take care of a few things that I left undone in Pensacola. So we're looking at taking a trip there in October. So about a month from now, I'll be in Pensacola, where we're flying into Miami, and I'll spend a few days there.

[00:49:58.980] – Allan
Then we're going to drive up to Pensacola and we'll spend about a week there. Then we're going to drive up to Indiana, near Chicago and spend about a week there and then to Asheboro, North Carolina, which if you look at North, can I just point your finger right in the very middle of it? That's where Aspro is. I'll go there for about a week and then we'll come back down and we think we think we might have to get one of those little speed tests, you know, just to know that we're not infected before we get on the plane.

[00:50:25.680] – Allan
Right now, they're charging about two hundred fifty dollars for those COVID tests. So we have about right now the way the rules are. We have to have that within 40, 48 hours of getting on an airplane. So we'll go down into the Miami area, get that test, wait out the results. I think it's supposed to be immediate now, but we'll see. See, we have to get one that we get an answer for relatively quickly.

[00:50:48.420] – Allan
And I think they're like 250 bucks. Maybe the price will come down before then. We'll have yeah, well, we'll have the test. But yeah, we're driving all this other than we are going to fly into Miami. So we've got a couple of flights and then we'll be in Miami and then we're going to drive. So my wife and I will get a lot of car time, a lot podcast's audience.

[00:51:07.480] – Allan
That sounds awesome. Well, it is awesome. You start looking well. OK, that's a four and a half-hour drive. That's a six and a half-hour drive, but an eight-hour drive. That's twelve, which.

[00:51:16.920] – Allan
So lots of time in the car sitting. But if you're anywhere in between all those things, just reach out to me: allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com, I'd love to hook up. We can get a coffee or have a cocktail, depending on what time of day or night it is and how much further I've got to drive. But you know, so you do reach out and you know, again, I'm around. So I do want to meet you if you're there.

[00:51:40.740] – Allan
So so do that. That sounds great. All right. Well, Rachel, you have a great week.

[00:51:47.200] – Ras
Thanks. You too.


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Another episode you may enjoy


How to turn each and every slip-up into success

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Due to recent events, I found myself in a very bad place. COVID-19 had drastically changed my everyday life, pulling out of my seasonal ketosis, decimating my exercise plan, and triggering me into several unhealthy eating habits. In fact, all of my healthy habits seemed to fall by the wayside. It was a major lifestyle change for the worse.

I knew I needed to change something. I went back to the simple things that had turned things around for me years ago. It started with a recommitment and positive self-talk. If I didn't want the fat bastard to come back (he was bearing down on me), I had to do what all successful people do. I had to pull myself up to my feet and do the simple things that were within my control.

I'm going to get a little raw during this discussion. Think of like a support group talk where I'm admitting my weaknesses, sharing my mental process, and showing you the small steps I took in a bit of a case study/success story. I hope to give you some tools to use that will give you a better chance of recovery, should you slip as I did.

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The Slip-to-Success Cheat Sheet


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is brought to you by Usual Wines, available in convenient single serve bottles. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/wine and use the coupon code fitness for $8 off.


Hello and welcome to Episode 450 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness. I'm really glad you're here and I hope that you're someone that's actually gone back and checked out the other 449 episodes we've done, which include over 275 interviews. It's kind of crazy how many people I've talked to over the years about health and fitness. And today I want to talk about something that's really, really important to me because it's a personal experience.

It's something that happened to me recently. And I'm talking to a lot of people and it's happening to them, too. And I want to give you the tools to get past this. And so I'm going to call this episode, “How to Turn Each and Every Slip Up Into Success.” And yes, even the best of us, the best personal trainers, the best fitness people out there. Every once while we make a mistake, every once in a while we slip, it just happens.

We're human and you're human, too. And so a lot's been going on in the world. And I want to kind of talk about my perspective of going through all of this with COVID, with the racial strife in the United States and obviously an upcoming election. Things are really, really crazy in the United States. And it's really hard to be on social media and do those types of things, because, quite frankly, it's just it's scary and it's frightening and it's hurtful and, you know, just all these emotions that are coming out.

I want to talk about this a little bit and give you some of my perspectives. And then after that, I want to give you some tools, some tools to help you the next time you slip. This is a process that I developed to work with my clients because like myself, many of them were struggling. And as I was finding my way out of the dark, I laid some bread crumbs to help them along the way as well. And it's been beneficial to everybody that I've talked to using this method. So I want to share it with you now.

COVID-19 hit the United States in January. I think the first case was registered up in the State of Washington around January 20th. And since then, it grew and grew and grew and obviously has grown into something much bigger, but not quite as big as they projected. So that's the good news. But the reality of it is COVID affected just about every single human being on this earth.

It's changed the way we live. It's changed the way we do almost everything we do and it's changed what we can and can't do. I'm in Panama and I can tell you Panama did not treat COVID like a joke at all. In fact, once they started getting cases in Panama and they were concerned about the medical system being able to keep up, they shut us down. And when I say shut us down, I mean, they shut down all the businesses, every single one of them, except grocery stores and pharmacies.

There was nothing else, just the pharmacy. You could go to the ATM if you needed some money and the pharmacy. And that was it. And they shut us down to a point where I was allotted two hours, two days a week to go do my shopping and that was only for necessities. I wasn't to be out there walking around, getting exercise. I was out there to shop. And so this was my Tuesday morning and Thursday morning from 7:30 – 9:30am were the only times I was allowed outside of my apartment.

Women were allotted 3 days a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday again, all these times were based on your personal ID card. So your passport depending on whether you were a citizen or resident. Since I'm a resident, I went with my passport. So my time was set. If I was caught outside, they would you know, sometimes they're checking your ID if you're outside of those times or you're somewhere where there's obviously not a grocery store or pharmacy they would arrest you, take you in, and they were doing that for a lot of people.

They really locked us down and that went on for nearly six weeks. So they did slowly start kind of opening things up. And as I'm recording this, you know, sort of the last week of September, I mean, August I'm sorry, you know, they still we still are locked down on weekends. And that means from 7:00 pm on Friday afternoon and evening until 5:00 am Monday morning, we're not to be out and about.

So the police are patrolling. If they catch you out, they'll arrest you. We're required to wear masks. So the whole argument that a lot of people are having about masks or not to mask. They'll arrest you. So you wear a mask. So that's been Panama. We're still on a curfew, so I can't go out at night. So from 7pm to 5am, you can't be out. That's every day.

We're still in this general lockdown. We're trying to slow the spread of the disease in the hopes that a vaccine will come. And that's been my life. You know, my gym's closed down. I was locked in my apartment for four months or more, unable to go out more than a couple hours, twice a week. And quite frankly, I melted down. You know, it was a hugely stressful situation, just reading what was going on.

Even though I could focus a little bit on my clients and I could focus a little bit on my business, I wasn't able to really put my all into that because I was just really struggling with this huge trigger event in my life that scared the crap out of me when I first heard about it. And as a result, I did what most people do. I spent all my days reading articles.

And in fact, you know, because I'm a data geek. I'm an information geek. I was reading every single article I could get my hands on in my search criteria. I just basically would say COVID-19 coronavirus, but not anything that mentions President Trump. And so I removed all of that political garble that was going on because it removed all of, you know, the opinion and stuff that was out there. And it gave me the medical information, the studies, the things that were actually going on in the medical community. The discussions they were having, the treatments and the, you know, the discussions of how they were going to do you know, virus, I mean a vaccine.

I was reading up on this every single day. And the reality of that has hit me that it just really, it pushed me further down. It kept me depressed. It kept me just addled. I didn't have a solution in my own head how I was going to handle this and what it was going to mean to me, to my wife, to my family. You know, our parents are up there in ages. They're all in their 70s. And quite frankly, they're not in the condition to handle something like this.

It was just really, really devastating for me to be sitting here in Panama and think about the things I couldn't do. And even if I had gone up to the United States to be around family, I really wouldn't have been any help to them to protect them. It just would have been the same. So we decided to stay in Panama and we're stuck in our houses and our apartment.

As a result of the stress and everything that was going on, I kind of slipped. So my slip and it involved alcohol. It involved almost no movement. I did bring some equipment from the gym over to my apartment and it sat and gathered dust in the corner. The whole time, I didn't really even have any desire to work out, which was really, really strange for me. But the impact of what was going on in the world, the stress that I was feeling and just feeling incapable of doing anything about it really, really bothered me.

So the no movement, the alcohol, the eating crazy stuff, you know, here and there, the cumulative impact was huge and it was weight gain. You know, the COVID 15 is a real thing. I did my part. I gained my fifteen pounds and I felt terrible about it. But it was, you know, it was just a reaction to what was going on in my life. And it was a major slip for me health-wise. It was not something that I wanted. It was not something that I planned. Sometimes I do plan to gain some weight and enjoy myself and go have a couple of weeks of, you know, fun and crazy at an all-inclusive resort or at a football game or just on some vacation. But this was not that social media.

It was just driving me batty and, you know, as I was going through it. And then, of course, the violence and stuff that was starting to happen in the United States particularly, and all of that coming through, it was just huge. Now, with that, I did slowly start to come out of it and think about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

So in a sense, this was very much a wake up call for me. I was sitting around thinking, you know. Why am I so bothered by this and what is really driving my behavior? What's the lesson out of all of this? And the reality of it was a few things. One is, you know, I'm watching videos of kind of crazy violent stuff happening. And I'm you know, I'm watching a woman or a man and they're in their 50s around my age and they're getting beat up and they're not able to defend themselves, are not able to help themselves.

And I'm watching people die, not necessarily watching them die, but hearing about the deaths and realizing that they're dying. Not necessarily because they got COVID because a lot of people were getting COVID and just moving on with their lives, recovering and moving on. But there are people just that couldn't recover and they couldn't recover because they just basically weren't taking care of themselves. So, you know, the first realization that came out of this was that COVID-19 is not the Spanish flu.

You know, that we want to compare it to the last pandemic. But the reality is this is apples and oranges. We know how germs pass now. They didn't know as much back then when Spanish flu was going on. And really the only reason that we're having to deal with COVID as much as we are, because in a real sense, it wouldn't be much worse than a flu if we were all healthy. But that's the point. Our health is crap in the United States.

You know, two-thirds of people are overweight, one third are obese, pre-diabetes, diabetes is just rampant. Heart disease is the number one killer. And, you know, as I'm recording this, I was thinking, you know, people aren't taking care of themselves. And right now and like I said, as I'm recording this, you know, there have been 180,000 deaths in the United States, which is tragic. But what we don't think about is there's 480,000 tobacco-related deaths every year.

So if you count the 7 months that COVID's been around as of this point in the United States, it's killed 180,000 and 280,000 have died of tobacco-related illness. Now, I know there's an overlap there. And so what COVID is actually doing, rather, we want to admit it to ourselves or not, is it's just accelerating our death.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Fastic before we had refrigeration, processing and bulk transportation, we just didn't have access to food like we do today because we're opportunistic eaters. Most of us consistently eat more than we should. And our bodies don't know how to signal to us that we've had enough. I practice intermittent fasting regularly, and it's a strategy many of my clients use to get control of food and as a happy side effect, lose weight. Fastic is an app you can download on an Apple or Android smartphone. It's a pretty snazzy app with a lot of tools to help you do intermittent fasting, right. It not only lets you track your fasting, but water consumption, steps and a lot of other things.

You can also connect with a fasting buddy to help keep you even more accountable. If you have an iPhone, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic. For an android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic. If you're interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, or just need some help getting started. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic for an iPhone. For an android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic.

Now, we talked about aging last week and a little heads up the next couple episodes are also about aging because as I was going through my moments, I was just thinking, you know, we're aging and we need to be healthy. And so how do I teach people how to age better? How do I teach them to be healthy longer? Because we don't want to go out that way. And, you know, so, you know, we have to take responsibility for our own health.

You know, I had to take responsibility for my health and my fitness. So, you know, when I see some 50-year-old guy getting pummeled or some 50-year-old woman getting pummeled, I have to think in terms of if I were in the United States walking around and got into that situation, am I the victim that they're going to be looking to mess with or am I someone who basically looks like I can take care of myself because I'm in good health and I'm reasonably fit.

It's not that you have to look like Mike Tyson to survive in this world, but the reality is they're much less likely to victimize you, to bully you, to attack you if it looks like you might be able to hurt them back. And so I don't want to throw this out there and really upset a lot of people, but, hey, if this is you, get a little upset, you know, that's OK. This was my wake up call.

If I'm going to take care of my loved ones, I've got to be there for them. I've got to be able to do the things that are necessary, you know, and it goes beyond being able to help my wife out of a wheelchair 30 years from now. It goes to the fact that if someone sees me walking with my wife, they just see me as someone to just pass on because they don't want to attack me.

If a COVID virus or something like that, something similar to this comes again, like I am generally now, I want to be healthy. I want my vitamin D to be where it's supposed to be. I want my B vitamins and zinc. I want all those things in my food so that I'm already healthy. In fact, I stepped up my supplementation because I was locked in an apartment. I've got vitamin D, I've got zinc, you know, like it's almost like a medicine cabinet kind of thing, which I normally wouldn't do, but I just didn't want to take chances.

Being locked in an apartment, limited access to the food. I mean, I have access to food, but it's the same food. So just making sure that the varieties there I've started supplementing. And so I was able to kind of turn this around and I turned it around and I started thinking, you know what I'm doing? All I'm doing is the basic thing that successful people do. The way you get success in this world is you learn from your failures and you do that by doing three things, and that's what I want to share with you.

This is my three-step plan for recovery when you slip. So pay particular attention to this one.

OK, so the first thing is to forgive yourself. And this is the most important thing if you don't really forgive yourself and I mean really like self-love deep. I made a mistake. I screwed up. I shouldn't have sat there and drank myself silly and ate myself silly and sat on my couch reading about COVID virus, things that really weren't going to impact my life or improve my life.

And I did those things for six solid weeks. I can't do that again, but I need to recognize that there were triggers, there were things that made me do that that were out of my control, and I didn't take the moment to stop myself and stay in control. So that's on me. But I have to forgive myself. So I accept responsibility and I forgive. And from that forgive. Now you're ready to move to the second step.

The second step is what did you take away from that moment? What was the learning experience of that moment? So for me, it's when I hit a really stressful period of time, I need to move. I need to move one way or another. Rather, they lock me in an apartment where they really lock me in a room or they lock me in a bathroom. I need to move and I'm going to move next time. If something like this happens and they lock us down, I'm still going to move. I'm going to keep moving as long as I possibly can because that's really helped me.

Since I got out of this, I've been walking regularly. I've been lifting regularly when they started letting me out to do other things besides shop. So I've been doing those things. And it's meant a world of difference, having that movement in my life, doing the meditations, doing the things that are going to relieve the stress, that will keep me from the actions that are detrimental to me. So I learned a lot out of this about myself.

You know, your trainer is not perfect. I'm human and I have to accept that and I have to act on that when something bad is happening, I have to recognize the symptoms and I've got to do something about it. So I've I've changed up a few things in my morning rituals. I've gone through some training. I've done some extra work on myself, mentally, physically. And that's helped me a whole lot. Moved way past where I was.

Now the third. And again, I'm not going to say this is the most important because really the forgiving is. But if you don't act on what you're supposed to do, you set that plan. You're like, OK, I'm going to meditate every morning. I'm going to go for long walks. I'm going to commune with nature. I'm going to get as much vitamin D as I can possibly get by supplementing and getting out in the sun. I'm going to do these actions to protect myself, to make myself stronger, to make sure that I'm the person my loved ones deserve. Then that's the action and that's when you have to do it. Now, what I did as a part of my action was, you know, I stepped up and said, you know, I'm going to go ahead and launch and do a round of what I call eight weeks to WOW.

And unfortunately, as you're hearing this, we've closed out on the third round, which might actually be the last time I do this in 2020. But I went through eight weeks to WOW with the first group that went through and we were all seeing great success, which was really up-lifting. And I, basically going through that program, lost 12 pounds. And then I went through my Strong, Lean Over 40 program, which, you know, I sell it as a program which is a strongly energetic program and then basically lifting part, which would be the coaching part.

And I've been doing that now for about three or four weeks. And I'm down below my pre COVID weight. So the fifteen pounds that I gained, I've lost more than that since May 1st. And I did that because I went through that three-step recovery plan. You know, the three-step plan is to forgive, to learn and plan and then act. OK, so you've got to do those three steps before you're going to get past this, because if you don't forgive, you won't recover.

If you don't set a plan, learn something and set a plan, then you won't step in the right direction. And if you don't actually act, then you're not stepping at all. So it takes all three of these in that order for you to be successful at recovering from a slip. So if you want to go from slip to success, you take those three steps. Now, I'm going to offer you a free gift.

If you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip. I'm going to have a little cheat sheet. I call it the slip to success cheat sheet and it's going to kind of walk you through those three steps and give you a little bit of insight into each one and how to apply it in your life. So go ahead and go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip and you can download the plan, the cheat sheet and it'll be like I said, it will kind of walk you through.

So if you're finding yourself right now sitting there saying I'm a victim of the COVID 15, you're not a victim, stop being a victim, take action, forgive yourself, set a plan and take action. And this little gift, this little cheat sheet is going to help you get on that track. So you are not a victim. We are not victims. We are in control of our future. We write our own next chapter. Our next chapter hasn't happened.

Now, we have an option right now to take out the pen that we've been writing our life with, and we get to write a new story starting today, so if you're ready to do that, to get this cheat sheet and then reach out to me and let me know what I can do to help you be successful in your journey forward. So I appreciate you being on the podcast today.

The next couple of episodes are going to be about aging. They're really good conversations. I was in kind of an aging mindset as I was going through the last month. And this is what came out of it. We ended up with a theme like that. But, you know, the world is not always positive and it's really, really hard for us to keep moving forward when things just seem to be falling.

You know, at some point, Sharknado is probably going to happen in 2020 because, you know, it's been that kind of year. We kind of laugh about, you know, we're going. But there are two hurricanes coming into the Gulf of Mexico as I'm recording this. So, yeah, it's just a really, really strange year with a lot of stressors in front of us. And having a plan is going to help. Now, the core of all of this, and I want you to start this today, is I need you to start using positive self taught and using positive thinking, have a positive outlook.

I know it's hard, but you're currently healthy. You're currently in good shape, at least more in better shape than being on the other side of the grass. You're listening to this. So just recognize that you do have control in rewriting your future and you can start today. So make that conscious decision to start and then recommit.

Go back to your why and your vision. As we talked about in the Wellness GPS, if you have those two things, they're always going to be that rock, that foundation that keeps you solid and on your feet ready to move forward. OK, so when you take that recommit, you get into it, boom, I'm in. And then you go through and you go through that three-step plan. You're going to make this happen for yourself. I have no doubt whatsoever.


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

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Barbara Costello– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander
– Bill Gioftsidis– Leigh Tanner– Wendy Selman
– Debbie Ralston– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to train your brain for a better life with John Assaraf

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On this episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we're going to have a conversation with John Assaraf author of the book, Innercise: The New Science to Unlock the Brain's Hidden Power, and creator of the free online workshop Brain-a-Thon. We will learn about how you can train your brain for a better life, including positive changes in body composition, fitness, relationships, and career. 

This episode is sponsored by Usual Wine. There are times you don't want to open a whole bottle of wine. Usual Wine solves this problem with single-serve, “heavy pour” bottles. Use the discount code FITNESS for $8 your first order.

Innercise is also available in audiobook format at Audible.

Brain Experts used to believe that by the time you turned 40, you were hardwired to be who you are, but brain research is showing that when you train your brain you can change it. The term for this is neuroplasticity. John shows us that you can even train your brain for greater success in health and fitness, and any other aspect of your life. And he does it without getting you all buried in all these complex neuroscience concepts. 

Since recording our conversation, I've gone on to attend John's Brain-a-Thon and it was fantastic. I've also signed up for a couple of his other programs and I've gotten so much from them. He's really pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I'm creating better daily habits, such as doing Innercises every day now to train my brain and the positive changes I've gotten have been awesome. The book and the workshop are fantastic resources.

John Assaraf is one of the leading experts on creating a positive mindset and a calmer brain. He has appeared numerous times on Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

John has built 5 multimillion-dollar companies, written 2 New York Times Bestselling books (Innercise is now his third), and has been featured in 8 movies, including the blockbuster hit “The Secret”. 

Today, he is the founder and CEO of NeuroGym, a company dedicated to using the most advanced technologies and evidence-based brain training methods to help individuals and corporations unlock and ignite their fullest potential. And if you didn't know he was nearly 60, you'd swear he was in his late 40s, early 50s.

You can listen to the podcast on the player above or read the transcript below. If you hear/read something that resonates with you, please share it on social media. Thank you!


00:03:07.080] – Allan
John, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:03:10.780] – John
Thanks, Allan, great to be with you

[00:03:12.700] – Allan
Now I got your book, Innercise: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain's Hidden Power, and, you know, I've read a lot of books and I've read a lot of books about the brain and about neuroplasticity. This was probably the most practical book on neuroplasticity that I've ever read.

It was not just the theory of this is how the brain should work or should fire, this was set Innercise, exercise for your brain that actually makes this stuff happen. And, you know, you said in the book, don't do all of them at one sitting because it's too much. But I found myself as I was reading, trying to do them.

Yeah, it was exhausting when you got to the beach one, it's funny because I um, that was just a meditation I started doing for myself to fall asleep if I woke up and I was feeling anxiety and I would just imagine myself walking down a beach. And so it was just it was interesting. You started going through that. And I was watching it and reading and it was like, oh, goodness, I had to go take a nap.

I was like, so relaxing and so awesome. So, again, I really enjoyed the book. And then I went on to even go do the Brain-a-Thon, which again, was awesome. So thank you for that. I appreciate sharing that. I really appreciate you being here today.

[00:04:41.960] – John
Thank you. The book Innercise was all around when I came to the realization that I have and everybody who is with us today has a trillion dollar brain, but we weren't given the user's manual for it. And, you know, everybody knows that I could exercise to build up my cardiovascular system and to build up my lung capacity and to strengthen my muscles if I want to exercise. But what about our brain, the greatest neuro muscle and bio-computer in the whole universe?

[00:05:18.320] – John
What are some techniques that we can use to get our brain to work better and to get us to focus more, to create empowering habits, to let go of stress or anxiety or uncertainty or fears that hold us back? What about that? And for many, many years, I've been practicing the mental and emotional techniques that I laid out in Innercise and actually give people the audio, enjoyed it and have a great dialogue about it.

[00:05:49.160] – Allan
Perfect. So in the book and I think this is where it clicked for me to understand this, is that I work with a lot of clients and they're trying to lose weight and they're trying to get fit and trying to get healthy. And for some of them, it just seems so hard.

[00:06:08.340] – Allan
And, you know, they struggle and they struggle and I'm like, you know, I know you want this. I know you're committed to this, but it's not happening for you and we've got to break that down. And you use this term cohesion and dissident's kind of talk about one of those kind of things that holds us back that we're not even necessarily aware is happening. Can you talk about that?

[00:06:30.130] – John
Sure. So, listen, we all develop our habits, right? We have habits the way we think on a regular basis. We have a habitual way of feeling. We have behaviors that lead to our results. So when we understand our brain just a little bit better and we understand that every one of us is already one hundred percent disciplined to our thoughts, our emotions, our feelings and our behaviors. And so changing is hard if you don't have the right process. So whenever we're looking to change our eating patterns, when ever we're looking to change how much activity we get in the day, whenever we want to change, how much sleep we get when ever we're looking to change our own self image of ourselves, which is something we've had for 20, 30, 40, 50 years, that requires understanding.

[00:07:32.140] – John
How do I make change easier not easy, but easier. And this is where most people have an issue. It's not in the intention or the goal that's the problem. It's what happens after that that's the problem. And so when we understand that our brains all work identically, every human beings brain works identically and our brain works on a couple of principles. So let me give you a couple of these principles.

[00:08:04.570] – John
Number one is any time that our brain experiences a change, a change in our behavior, a change in our diet, a change in our exercise, our brain goes, hey, what's going on? You're using energy and our brain wants to conserve energy. So anything that is going to use up more energy the way I think or behave, our brain is going to go what's going on here? And it's going to resist. So that resistance is our brain wanting to move back into its comfort zone. Right. Just like a thermostat is meant to keep temperature in a room at a certain temperature that's set in the thermostat. Our brain wants to have you keep the same settings. You're awake, you're eating your exercise energy expenditure. That's one.

Number two, whenever our brain feels that there might be real or potential pain or discomfort, it says, hold on a second here. I don't want to feel any pain or discomfort. Well, guess what? Changing our diet is considered uncomfortable to our brain, starting to exercise, even though it feels good to do it, it also means we might have muscle soreness. It also means that we might have aches and pains, etc.

[00:09:23.170] – John
So our brain is trying to resist anything that's going to cause us pain or discomfort or having less than what we had before. So understanding that these are natural mechanisms of our brain, we can start saying, OK, are there some techniques that I can use to make this easier versus easy? And the answer is yeah, there's a lot of techniques that we can use to re-commit to reframe things. So first thing that I share with people who want to lose weight, first and foremost, stop thinking of what you need to do is losing weight.

[00:10:05.680] – John
As soon as our brain thinks of losing anything, it resists it. Why? We're always taught to find what we lose, find what you forget. So what if we instead said, OK, what do I really, really want? Is that weight that I want to lose or is it fat that I want to release? Right. So if we think about body weight as extra calories, extra energy, what we want to do is we want to release that energy and use it.

[00:10:34.390] – John
But that's really not what we're looking to do. You know, the reason we want to, I'm going to use a term that I don't like to use is lose weight, is not for the losing the weight. It's for how we're going to feel about ourselves. It's for the love where we're seeking. It's for the self belief about ourself that we want is for the lifestyle that we want its for the energy that we want. And so what if we instead of focused on losing weight, we focused on what's the lifestyle that I want?

[00:11:09.830] – John
What are the benefits of that lifestyle, instead of focusing on what I'm going to have to give up, what am I here to gain by doing this? Instead of focusing on a diet, why not focus on a new way of eating as a new way of being. The very fact that, you know, the word diet, the first three letters are die? OK, dieting is hard, but figuring out a meal plan, a way to eat that sustains me that I could that I could keep doing past one week or three weeks or six weeks, that's a totally different focus.

Instead of focusing on what I'm going to have to give up, what am I here to gain by doing this? Instead of focusing on a diet, why not focus on a new way of eating as a new way of being. @johnassaraf Click To Tweet [00:11:52.970] – John
Now, most people try to lose weight and they say, OK, I'm going to lose 10 pounds with 20 pounds or thirty pounds or fifty pounds or whatever the amount is, and they alter their behavior until the point of reaching their goal, and then they revert back to all of the old behaviors that got them to gain all the weight. So instead of having their brain focusing on the behaviors and the way to be for losing weight, why not say, nope, let me make a lifestyle change that will empower me or make me feel better for the rest of my life instead of for a week or two or three.

[00:12:30.530] – Allan
And so what you're basically doing is you're kind of getting cohesion between what the body wants, which is to be what the subconscious brain wants it wants to be able, wants to have adequate energy. It doesn't want the knees to hurt when you're walking up and down the stairs and losing weight as it will, we would think about that logically. The words we use is doing that. But you're using the term release, which is a very different thing than the losing.

[00:12:56.300] – John
And the other thing that we need to understand is water is weight. Muscle is weight, we don't want to lose weight, you could lose two, three, four, five, six pounds of water and weight in a week. But you're going to get it all back. You can have one dish of pasta or rice and it retains two and a half times its own weight and water and gain it all back. So what we want to do is we want to activate fat release so that we use our fat stores as energy. And that's really what we want to do.

[00:13:33.130] – John
We want to create an environment within us so that the food that we're eating gives us energy and what it is that we're doing for basic survival needs but then through hopefully a little bit of exercise, we are using fat as fuel for the energy requirements that we need. And we create initially a slight imbalance between how much we're consuming and how much we're using.

[00:13:58.340] – John
And in doing it slowly instead of fast and really focusing on fat release and sustainable weight release or weight loss, if that's what we want to call it. Now, we're looking at a totally different game and we're not looking at going on a diet which is is really detrimental to a lot of people's heads and hearts because they suffer these, or they gain these high wins and then they suffer these lows by gaining all the weight, which happens for ninety seven percent of people.

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[00:16:03.350] – Allan
Now, when you're talking about exercises, I mean Innercise excuse me, know, one of the things that you brought up there was there's lots and lots of different ways to Innercise, much like with exercise. So I could I could decide to go ahead and do an aerobics class where I can go lift weights or I can go for a run or I could go skiing or I could go hiking.

[00:16:22.220] – Allan
There's so many different ways that I could exercise to affect different things balance, mobility, strength, endurance. It's much the same way with innercise. But there's about seven key areas that you identified in the book that we can innercise to benefit ourselves. Can you talk about those?

[00:16:38.670] – John
Sure. So let's just take the, you know, the self-image side of our brain. Everybody knows that they have a self-image of themselves. And so if I was to ask you to draw yourself out or to write down what you feel you look like, would that either visual or written description match the way you want to look? And for most people who are maybe overweight, there's a mismatch. What if I said that if you, for example, went to some magazines where they had people with your type of physique that you want to have, those realistic. What if you cut out a picture of a physique that you wanted and you took your own face and you put it on top of that picture.

[00:17:35.730] – John
And what if every day you looked at that picture and you started to see yourself moving towards that over a period of time, whether it's one month, three months, six months or one year? You said this is the body that I'm going to have. This is the body that's giving me energy. This is the body and physique that's going to make me feel the way I want to, look the way I want to. What if you start to just visualize that every day?

[00:18:01.650] – John
What if you started to emotionalize what would it feel like to actually be in that body? What would happen is you would start to develop a new self-image that would override your old self image. It's almost like recoding software on a computer. Your self image is nothing more than cells in your brain of recognition of what you have seen in the mirror ten thousand times and what you have thought about a hundred thousand times.

[00:18:34.000] – John
And so when we start to use, for example, visualization, visualization is a simulation. When we start to simulate in our mind's eye on a new body, the new energy, how we will feel, the complements we might get, the things we might start seeing to ourselves about ourselves, we start to rewrite our own hidden self image and overlay a new self image around that.

[00:18:59.830] – John
And when we start using innercises, whether it's verbal analyses or emotional innercises or mental innercises to activate cells in our brain and then reinforce those cells and patterns in our brain, we know that whatever we do consciously, repetitively over time becomes an unconscious pattern. And so we can use a variety of different innercises to rescript, reshape imprint what it is that we want instead of what is.

[00:19:36.410] – Allan
Yeah, so, you know, the way I kind of look at it and you said something really important that I want to go back to is realistic, you know, don't don't sit there. I can't pull out, you know, you know, say Arnold Schwarzenegger and put my face on his body and say, you know, when he was at his prime and say, that's what I'm going to look like in a year or two, that's not realistic. But if I do find, you know, a body body style, I think that's going to fit me, and I begin to think of myself in those terms that's going to affect my subconscious, which is going to then affect my behavior. And make me start doing the things that are necessary to have that body type.

[00:20:13.650] – John
Absolutely. There's a visual that I like to share with everybody just to show them how this can work. I'm going to ask everybody who's listening right now a question. And the question is this. Can you slowly jog a marathon right now?

[00:20:32.300] – John
And I work out almost every day, and I cannot right now. Like I'm not in shape to jog a marathon 26.2 miles. Now, here's the second question for everybody who's listening, as if we agreed today that a year from now or 18 months from now or even two years from now, we're going to jog slowly and healthy and a healthy way, a marathon, 26.2 miles. And today all we did is we got from a seated position and stood up and then sat back down.

[00:21:07.640] – John
That's all we did today, maybe five times during the day. And then tomorrow we did it five times and the next day we did it five times. And we figured out what would be a really good eating plan for energy. What would be a good little movement plan for flexibility and some balance. Could we maybe in a week, if we were sedentary for the last five years, could we maybe walk in our apartment from the sofa to the kitchen? And the answer is probably yes.

[00:21:35.640] – John
And then once we did that five or 10 times, could we walk outside maybe a tenth of a mile slowly. And then could we walk two tenths of a mile, then can we walk five tenths of a mile, then can we walk one mile, if we did it in a healthy way? The answer for almost every single person is if I started off that slow, yes, I could do it.

[00:21:57.850] – John
Well, let's take it out to three months. Could we get faster, stronger, better in three months and build a foundation? Yes. Well, what about three months later? What if we hired a professional to help us get in better shape? And then we started to slowly once we release the weight, once we felt more comfortable, we started having more energy. Maybe at a certain point we needed to do a slight, very easy job. Could we do it? The answer is, of course we could.

[00:22:29.880] – John
Well, then guess what? If we could do that, could we build up the muscle and the endurance as we got stronger, as we release the weight? Could we possibly in a year or a year and a half or two years slowly jog a marathon? And the answer is yes, and how do we know that we know that because millions and millions and millions of people start off just that way.

[00:22:54.350] – John
So even though we may not see the end outcome right now and even though we don't have the knowledge or the skills or even the resources to do it, could we gain the mental and the emotional and the physical fortitude to be able to do it if we committed to it? And the answer is yes. We have all the knowledge, the skills of how to do it right now.

[00:23:19.460] – Allan
Yeah, you've just described how I trained for a Tough Mudder. I was in no shape to even consider doing a Tough Mudder. I could do a 5K obstacle course, I couldn't do a 13 mile one. And so I was I was watching the videos of the people that were completing it and they were doing it. And I was like, OK, that guy has a grip strength. That's how he's able to do what he's doing, that person stronger.

[00:23:41.990] – Allan
That person isn't carrying as much body fat. And so the visuals I had in my head was a person is doing that. That's not me today but that will be the day that I do that race and I committed by signing up for it. I wrote my check, you know, give my credit card number. I got the ticket for my daughter and I. And so the commitment was there.

[00:24:02.110] – Allan
And what that meant was each day was, OK, I've got to get my grip strength a little stronger. If it's just hanging from a pole, you know, a pull up bar, that's how I'm going to start getting my grip stronger. And then I was doing pull ups and then I was doing, so it's just a progressive thing over time. And it's those little bitty things like if you put a penny in a jar every day and then and then after two weeks, double it and put two pennies and after two weeks double it and put four pennies. After a while, you realize you basically have your retirement taken care of. It's that kind of building that you get out of all of this.

[00:24:35.320] – John
Yeah, and whenever you're looking to, you know, to change from one habit to another, from a destructive to constructive, from disempowering to empowering, there's something that I teach all my students and that is reduce it to the ridiculous. So reduce whatever it is that you need to do or want to do to the ridiculously small. Right, and so one minute a day, two minutes a day, three minutes a day, five minutes a day for 100 straight days builds the habit.

[00:25:09.270] – John
Once we have the habit, we can build the intensity and the duration. And so instead of trying to do everything in the first week or two weeks, why not focus on I'm going to develop empowering, constructive habits that I'm going to stick to instead of something that's not sustainable. And so when we're thinking about our brain. Let's understand how it works and our brain resists big changes, our brain resists anything that takes a lot of time and energy.

[00:25:44.790] – John
And so when we want to develop a habit of this is what I would like and I'd like to sustain it, let's reduce it to the ridiculously small so that I can develop the habit that I can add layers afterwards.

[00:26:03.750] – Allan
Now, one of the things you went into the book, and I think it's it's really important, is that if you don't set a goal the right way, your likelihood of accomplishing that goal goes way, way down. But you talked about a function of something called brain friendly goals. Could you go into that briefly?

[00:26:20.910] – John
Sure. So it actually piggybacks on. What I just said is there's different parts of our brain. If you think of your brain almost like an orchestra or a band, you know, there's different musicians who play different instruments. Well, there's different parts of our brain that does different things and when we can get our brains, different parts to work together in synchronicity and harmony, it works a lot better. So, for example, there's a part of our brain I called the Einstein part of the brain.

[00:26:52.320] – John
That's really good for imagination. What I would like, what it would feel like and be like and how can I achieve it. All right. There's another part of our brain which I call is the Frankenstein part of the brain that is analyzable. What can go wrong here? What if you start and you don't continue? What if you get hurt? What if you embarrass yourself? Or what if you're ashamed or ridiculed or judged because you give it your best and you fail?

[00:27:18.810] – John
So our brain, in order to make brain friendly goals, works like this. What do you want to achieve? Write that down. Why is it really important for you to achieve it? Write that down. How can you get started? OK. Write that down. When are you going to do it? Put it on your calendar. What are the tools or resources or people that you need in order to help you get that all together? That's a brain friendly goal because now I have the what, the why, the how, the who, and the when, and our brain goes, OK, are you committed to doing this or are you interested?

[00:28:02.400] – John
And this is the question of all questions I have, because when somebody says, here's what I want, I always ask them, well, are you committed to that or are you interested? And many people say to me, what's the difference? I tell them, what if your answer is going to cover stories or reasons or excuses, why you can't or why you won't if you're interested, you know, when it's time to do it, you're going to come up with a story, reason or excuse.

[00:28:26.370] – John
But if you're committed, you will overcome the story, the reason, or the excuse. If you're committed, you'll do whatever it takes. If you're committed, you will override the “I don't feel like it.”

If you're committed, you will overcome the story, the reason, or the excuse. If you're committed, you'll do whatever it takes. If you're committed, you will override the "I don't feel like it." @johnassaraf Click To Tweet [00:28:39.540] – Allan
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be? What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:28:47.220] – John
Well, number one is, what does it mean for you to be well? Right? How are you thinking? How are you feeling? What are you doing? Whose life or whose whose life is impacted other than just yours? And so whenever we think about wellness and well-being, define it for yourself. Define it for yourself. For me. Tell me, how do you define success? For me success is harmony between health, wealth, relationships, career, business, fun experiences, charity, spirituality. For me, it's that harmony. That's success. It doesn't make sense for me to have so much health, but not wealth, so much wealth, but not health. So for me, it's that harmony. So that could feel like my life is in flow.

[00:29:43.520] – Allan
OK, thank you, John. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Innercise: The New Science to Unlock Your Brain's Hidden Power and all the wonderful things you're doing over there with your company, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:29:56.420] – John
Thank you. I think they can hop onto Amazon to take a look at my book Innercise or my other book Having It All, which is also New York Times Bestseller (also available on Audible). They can if they want to go deeper into the brain around making more money and to financial success. They can go to brainathon123.com. I'm on Instagram. I'm on my Facebook fan page. I'm on Twitter. And then obviously our websites JohnAssaraf.com or myneurogym.com, which is my company.

[00:30:31.220] – Allan
Yeah, I did the Brain-a-Thon this weekend. I made it about three quarters through and I just a lot it was wonderful. And then I just joined your Exceptional Life Program, so I decided I'm seeing a lot of you lately, but yeah some really cool stuff. Thank you so much for being a part of Forty Plus Fitness.

[00:30:51.660] – John
Thank you my friend. Thank you so much for doing this.


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Another episode you may enjoy


How to survive and thrive when bad things happen – Dr. Jim Taylor

With all that's going on in the world, we need to have strategies and tactics to deal with the stress and anxiety. Dr. Jim Taylor gives us those tools in his new book, How to Survive and Thrive When Bad Things Happen.


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[00:02:26.160] – Allan
Dr. Taylor, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:02:29.670] – Dr. Taylor
Thanks. Thanks very much for inviting me on. I think it'll be a lot of fun.

[00:02:33.120] – Allan
Yes, well, the topic we're talking about wouldn't necessarily be considered fun, but I think it's a really important topic for us to get in right now, particularly when you consider what stress does to our health. The name of the book you have is called How to Survive and Thrive When Bad Things Happen, Nine Steps to Cultivating an Opportunity Mindset in a Crisis. And, you know, going through the book, you really did lay out a lot of tools and really a kind of, in my mind, a good framework for us to think about problems.

[00:03:04.920] – Allan
And, you know, we can talk about him in terms of crisis, which is what this is about. But I think a lot of times just are, some of our day to day issues, things that we just struggle with. In many cases, if we're if we are cultivating this opportunity mindset you talk about in the book, I think we're just gonna be in a better place all together.

[00:03:24.560] – Dr. Taylor
For sure, and one thing I emphasize in the book is that there are crises both small and large, and no doubt that we are experiencing some very large ones at this moment in the U.S. and around the world. But every day we experience as adults and young people, different levels of crises and small ones as well that impact us. And the more we can practice a good approach to the little crises, the better prepared we will be for handling the big crises.

[00:03:54.130] – Allan
Yes. It was. It was funny, I my dog woke me up. She she had to go and had my coffee and was like, look, you know, the rule. Let me have my coffee, cup of coffee, and then I'll be, I'll take you out. Well, she couldn't wait. She's like, no, we're going. So I poured myself a cup and I'm walking out of the door. And as I walk out the apartment, I hear clang. And I know that the gates now closed and I didn't bring my keys and everybody's asleep. You know, my wife's asleep and everyone in the building's asleep.

[00:04:24.160] – Allan
So I sat outside for two hours waiting for someone to come out or for my wife to realize I was gone. But, you know, in the instant it happened, you know, your brain just kind of wants to fire up, you know, all the anger stuff, all the things that are actually going to make you not solve the problem. They just seem to want to bubble up intensely at that first moment.

[00:04:50.250] – Dr. Taylor
Right. Well, it's quite interesting because what I call the crisis mentality is really our primitive reaction to perceived threats. But what we're seeing now in modern times versus on the Serengeti 250,000 years ago when we first evolved into human beings, Homo sapiens, is that what worked then doesn't work now. And so, as an example, our greatest instinct is to survive. And I'm guessing that getting locked out of your building wasn't really a threat to your survival, but you reacted in much the same way. Your fight or flight reaction got triggered and you felt some very strong emotions and maybe you felt this need immediate need to figure it out and resolve the crisis, which was the perceived threat. But it sounds like you were able to work through that.

[00:05:44.310] – Allan
Well, I just decided I was I was relegated to where I was relegated. And I may as well just sit there comfortably and hang out with my dog. Worse things could happen. You know, there's a lot going on in the United States with COVID, with, you know, the kind of racial inequity conversation and the political aspects of what's going on in The United States. There's like three crises, all kind of combined and overlapping and interlaying.It's just really tough time. What are some of your thoughts on what you're seeing as far as your responses and you know just where we basically are with that?

[00:06:28.580] – Dr. Taylor
Sure. Well, there's no doubt that we are experiencing a perfect storm of crises and it's so many levels. And in my book, I talk about many different types of crises that are applied here. We've got personal crises, health crises, safety crises, financial economic crises, governmental crises, societal, environmental, all these things, all these different types of crises are rolled up into these three really substantial crises that are affecting our lives.

[00:06:57.980] – Dr. Taylor
And what that simply does is turn up the volume on our reactions to the crisis. And so I'm starting to see in my practice as well as just in my life. Higher levels of stress, more emotionality, more anger, frustration, sadness, despair. So certainly, especially these days, what I consider to be some poor decision making when it comes to how best to deal with some of these crises, particularly with COVID. And at the same time, I want to be fair that we're also seeing some really wonderful things that people coming together, people supporting each other, and a lot of inspiration. A lot of pride. And so as with any kind of crisis, this perfect storm of crises is bringing out the best in us, the best in humanity, and also some of the worst of humanity.

[00:07:48.420] – Allan
Yeah, and I think that kind of blends in to kind of the core tenet of what your book is about is that, you know, we we don't necessarily want to just go into all of these crises and in every crises and just think in terms of how do I survive. Typically, these crises also open up opportunities for us if we have the right mindset. Can you talk about the survival rival conversation? And then you know how that how that blends into our mentality?

[00:08:18.560] – Dr. Taylor
Absolutely. So S.A., as I mentioned earlier, survival is our most important instinct because if we can't survive, then we're not gonna pass on our genes and property species and keep human beings going, continue to move forward and survive in the world. And this has been wired into us since we climbed out of the primordial muck millions and millions of years ago. And and it is such a powerful drive. So when whenever we perceive a situation as a threat to our survival, it triggers this cascade of reactions.

[00:08:48.650] – Dr. Taylor
And let me Allan, let me give you a very brief neuroanatomy lesson here, that this part of the brain in what's called a primitive brain is the part is called the amygdala. And it's where all information throve in all information flows through. And what it does, it it's responsible for creating emotional reactions and behavioral reactions to a perceived threat to our survival. And so, as I mentioned earlier, our instincts are survival, which when our survival is threatened, it causes this reaction of fight or flight.

[00:09:21.890] – Dr. Taylor
We can either attack a thing to survive or we can run away from it. And whats interesting is on the Serengeti 250,000 years ago, threats, crises were were very immediate and very tangible. So it might be a saber tooth tiger, or a rival tribe with a really big club. And the fact is, is that we didn't have time to deliberate to think about what's the best plan of action here, because if we did, we were already dead or beaten.

[00:09:48.470] – Dr. Taylor
And so we created this instant change in us psychologically, emotionally, physiologically and then behaviorally. And so that served us very well for a very long time and ensured our survival. But there's this other part of us that's almost instinctive as well, and it's being able to thrive and the word thrival. By the way, I didn't think it was a real word at first, but it actually is. I looked it up.

[00:10:12.730] – Allan
My spell doesn't like it for sure.

[00:10:15.340] – Dr. Taylor
Oh, really? OK. Very good. And so there is also this part of us that wants to thrive. And it's what's really created advancement through all of human history. It makes us want to get up in the morning and do marathons or triathlons or learn to play the piano or to develop the Internet or whatever it might be. So there's the other part of us, but it's not quite as primitive or primal or as immediate because you cannot thrive, you'll still survive.

[00:10:45.120] – Dr. Taylor
But as evolved beings, we have this side of us that drives us to do more than just to survive. And so that primitive mindset, the amygdala creates what I call a crisis mentality. And the other side of that was what I call an opportunity mindset. And again, little more neuroanatomy class here. That is a part of the brain. Well, first of all, we have this thing on top of our of our heads, the separate us from animals. And it's called the cerebral cortex.

[00:11:13.860] – Dr. Taylor
It basically involves our ability to think. And a part of that cerebral cortex is the front of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. And you're probably familiar with the phrase executive functioning. It's a big thing with kids in development these days and basically executive functioning. And the prefrontal cortex is associated with making decisions, identifying options and choices, weighing risk rewards, looking at future versus immediate benefit.

[00:11:39.580] – Dr. Taylor
And this is the side this involved with the thrival part of us. And what's really important, understand these days is that crises then back in the day in primitive times are very different than crises now. So, again, the crises in primitive times were very immediate, clear and tangible, and they required immediate action. But, Allan, modern crises are very different, particularly if you think about COVID, racial inequities, political strife. They're often unforeseeable. They're often not predictable. They're not easily understandable because clearly there's a lot we don't know about COVID. Also, they're often distant and indirect.

[00:12:14.130] – Dr. Taylor
So a lot of us haven't been much affected by by COVID. And yet we're required to do a lot of things that are necessary to prevent it from spreading. Also with COVID, as we're learning with the spread of COVID around the country, the crisis is delayed and it's lingering. And the reality is that the health and the economic crisis caused by COVID is going to last for a very long time.

[00:12:38.770] – Dr. Taylor
And then another really challenging part of it, Allan, is that there's not a lot we can do to get rid of COVID. We can't fight COVID and we can't exactly flee COVID. Yes, we can lock ourselves in our houses, but it's still there. So the challenge here is that what worked so well for our survival back in primitive times when faced the crisis no longer works now because we can't fight and we can't flee. And so that then requires a more evolved reaction.And that's where the opportunity mindset comes in that engages the prefrontal cortex and our executive functioning.

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[00:13:59.510] – Allan
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[00:14:37.370] – Allan
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Use code Allan20 and get 20% Off! [00:15:28.370] – Allan
You know, as COVID came about. I was. I'm here in Panama, and I bought a gym last June and I've been working for nine months, almost nine months to get the gym up to my standard. You know, I'm buying new equipment, getting painted, organizing all these different things. And I just made my last purchase of what I felt was necessary to kind of have the gym ready, make it gym ready anyway. And then COVID. And in Panama, they're taking this a lot more serious than they are in most parts of the United States because they just don't have the medical facilities to deal with a massive outbreak. They just don't. It could it could handle it if outbreak the way that it would just naturally do it.

[00:16:12.890] – Allan
So they're shut down here was much more dramatic and draconian than anything in the United States. So not not belittling that, as any kind of law. This is definitely not fun. But, you know, immediately it was it was this frustration that just overtook me. And, you know, I'll admit my reactions for the first two months of this outbreak were they were negative. You know, I went down that as you put the book, the negative emotional chain.Can you talk to us about that reaction? The frustration that we feel, particularly on these drawn out crises and then what we can actually do about it?

[00:16:51.260] – Dr. Taylor
Sure, sure. Well, before we do that, I'd like to sort of complete my thoughts a little bit on the opportunity mindset and how that's different from this sort of urgency and the intensity of the crisis mentality. Is that OK?

[00:17:01.810] – Allan
Sure, sure. Sure. Absolutely.

[00:17:03.210] – Dr. Taylor
Yeah. So an opportunity mindset is obviously much more positive orientation. It's a can do orientation, it's like we're in this crisis. It sucks. But how do we deal with it in a positive way? So that's the first thing versus like, oh my gosh, it's the worst thing in the world. Is it so bad? Which is the crisis mentality. Second of all, with engaging executive functioning in the prefrontal cortex, it's creating a staying calm, not freaking out and being very purposeful and deliberate in how we're going to respond.

[00:17:31.930] – Dr. Taylor
So instead, I make a distinction between reacting, which is sort of this immediate, visceral reaction and a response, which is for me, very, very deliberate, very thoughtful, very purposeful. And in some key components to the opportunity mindset is, first of all, our values. And so basically what happens in a crisis is our world is rocked. The ground on which we stand is no longer stable. And that's especially true in the case of a hurricane, an earthquake and so on.

[00:18:02.700] – Dr. Taylor
So really going back to what do we value and what's important to us that helps that can help disconnect away from them and the amygdala and get the information flowing to the prefrontal cortex. Also, our attitudes are really important. Am I going to be a victim here or am I going to take ownership? And so that's really important as well. So basically an opportunity mindset is about having a clear understanding of what we're dealing with in a crisis and then having a method in the madness, because what a crisis creates is madness.

[00:18:33.220] – Dr. Taylor
And if you can have a method through it, then you're going to deal with it much more effectively. And lastly is being decisive. And there's a lot of uncertainty, Allan, with respect to a crisis, as you well know, when's it going to start? When's it going to end? When can we move on to phase two or phase three? When can we reopen? And it's important to be decisive, as decisive as you can, and taking the actions that you believe will help you get through the crisis. So any follow up before I move on to the frustration and the negative mode?

[00:19:01.670] – Allan
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I you know, the way I kind of put this or thought about this was I locked myself out. You know, what are the ways that I'm going to be able to get back in because I can't I can't go through the gate by myself. It's locked. And there's no other way into my apartment. There's no other key. So I just have to wait for one of three things I kind of already mapped out. OK, either I'm going to hear my wife come out on the patio that overlooks where I'm sitting. So I'm listening for the sliding glass doors to open or someone's going to come out of the building, or three if a friend drives by or rides by on their bike. I can have them Facebook message my wife and let her know that I'm locked out. So I had three solutions that I'm basically working towards. And then also just in my head thinking, you know, petting a dog is stress relieving and, you know, we're going to have some hangout time whether she likes it or not, that's what we're going to do.

[00:19:55.740] – Allan
And I knew, OK, there's some things I've got an appointment, you know, I might be late for or might not make. And I'll just have to apologize because it's outside my control at this point. So for me, it was it was kind of a little bit of acceptance. But then I did have some at least some positive actions that I could take during that period of time while I was I was waiting for the crisis to end. And thankfully, my neighbor Bay, he came out and let me in. He was going to charge me dollar for it. But he did let me in.

[00:20:26.510] – Allan
And so it was over, you know, but had I gone through that whole, like I said, the frustration, the negative emotional shame that I found myself doing with COVID, you know, it wouldn't have been as productive and I wouldn't have I wouldn't be talking about it fondly. I guess that's the best way to say it.

[00:20:44.460] – Dr. Taylor
Right. And I just want to point out a couple of key things that you did very well. Firstly, you accepted that which you couldn't control. That is, you are locked out. That is reality. And to rage against the machine of reality is a very fruitless and frustrating experience. Second of all, you controlled what you could control. You were looking for a friend to ride by on a bike. You pet your dog, you relax. You drank your coffee and you did what you could.

[00:21:10.380] – Dr. Taylor
And so so those are some really positive steps. And what was key about that is that frustration is a strange emotion, because when I asked people if frustration is a good or a bad emotion, they say it's a horrible emotion. It feels bad, but it's actually a really important emotion evolutionarily, because when you're frustrated, if you think about we all know what frustrated means, what it feels like, it's like, oh, my gosh, I'm stuck.

[00:21:35.460] – Dr. Taylor
But few people really understand what frustration, what causes it. So basically with frustration, what causes frustration is when you're heading down a path toward a goal and then a giant gate falls in your path or a boulder or whatever you want to say. So your path is blocked. So that causes frustration. So frustration starts out as a good emotion, Allan, because when you're frustrated, what's your initial motivation? To clear the path toward your goal? The problem is, is that initially when you're frustrated, you typically just do more of the same harder.

[00:22:10.540] – Dr. Taylor
And that violates the law of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. And so if it's not that easy to remove that gate or that boulder, then you're going to get more frustrated. And that leads to the second part of my negative emotional chain, which is anger. Now, again, I ask the question of people, is anger a good or a bad emotion? Well, people say it's a terrible emotion, it feels horrible. But it's actually evolutionarily a good emotional initially, because when you're angry again, it motivates you to clear the path toward your goal.

[00:22:45.570] – Dr. Taylor
The problem, Alan, is that when you're angry, One, is you can't think clearly, and two, you can't focus effectively. So typically what happens when you're angry is this is sort of frenetic attempt to clear the path. And again, that doesn't work very well. The real challenge is the third chip piece or link in the chain, the negative emotional chain, and that's despair.

[00:23:11.900] – Dr. Taylor
And this is not a trick question. This is this is a bad emotion. Because as soon as you despair, you give up. And as soon as you give up, you lose any chance of resolving the crisis. Then you become a total victim. And so the goal is to stop at frustration, easy to get to anger. It's hard to come back from anger. And it's really hard to come back from despair.

[00:23:37.750] – Dr. Taylor
But if you can master the frustration and this is something I do a great deal in with my client, tell us, what do you do when you're faced with a frustrating situation? And so a couple of key steps. First is take a break. As long as you stay in the situation that's causing you the frustration, you're going to stay frustrated. Let's use your example of of being locked out of your apartment building. If you stand there, you probably continue to be frustrated.

[00:24:05.590] – Dr. Taylor
So the best thing to do is take a walk around the block with your dog, get some physical distance, which creates emotional distance, which will reduce the frustration. But that's not enough, because if you then go back, the gate is still gonna be locked. And so the next thing to do is to identify what the cause is, what's the problem? And again, it's pretty clear you're locked out. And this, of course, is very simple. If we do, can we can talk about COVID and apply it there as well with a more complex situation. But then once you identify the problem, I'm locked out, then you can come up with a solution. Well, I can wait it out. I can. I can wait for a friend to come by on a bike. I could yell up to my wife. There are a lot of different options. And if you can find a solution that will work right away, well then the frustration is going to disappear. Because you're going to have a solution to the problem. And so if you go through some of these deliberate steps, the most basic is to take a break. Look what the situation is. Identify the problem, find a solution. Then you can return to the situation. And then if all else fails, because there are some days when like with COVID, the promise not can be solved today.

[00:25:27.450] – Dr. Taylor
In that case, it's best to redirect your attention on something else. So with COVID. Maybe go back to work. You get some exercise. You hang out with your family. You check the news, whatever it might be. But the important thing is when you start to feel that frustration instead of letting your amygdala take over. Which is totally fruitless and frustrating experience is to re-engage the prefrontal cortex and think through this process.

[00:25:57.100] – Allan
It's much like a personal trainer. You ask people about pain and everybody is like, well, pain is bad. And I kind of correct them a little bit. I say, no, I say pain is not a bad thing. It's actually a very good thing because it's a signal. It's telling you something if you're if you're willing to listen. And frustration kind of works that way in a sense. The way I look at it know, the next time I went out the door, I made sure I had my keys.

[00:26:24.070] – Allan
So it's it's pretty settled right now. I'm going to have my keys on me when I leave my house again. So it was an educational opportunity I guess is the best way for me to look at it. It's silly, I locked myself out and all I needed was the keys that I had left sitting on the counter. And so going forward, when I leave the house, there's a little extra reminder there, kind of seeded emotion. Take your keys with you, dummy, so it doesn't happen again. So I did kind of find you know, I did densify the cause, keys on the counter instead of in my pocket. And now going forward, I have a solution.

[00:27:03.320] – Dr. Taylor
Right. And I think your example of pain is a great one, because when people think of pain, they think about survival. And back on the Serengeti, 250,000 years ago, pain usually meant that you were about to die. So it is sort of very important survival purpose. However, moving forward into the thriving. The reason why people exercise, run marathons is it was easy. Everybody would do it, but probably nobody would do it, because that's not the challenge. It's not thriving. The reason why people push themselves physically is because of the satisfaction, the fulfillment that comes from challenging ourselves and overcoming our limitations.

[00:27:41.910] – Dr. Taylor
And so so pain, yes. Can certainly be bad. But it also can be a really wonderful sign, of I'm working hard. I'm pushing myself, I'm getting better. And so, again, it all is about attitude and how you look at it. And that's the lens through which you experience a crisis, pain, frustration, what it would have you.

[00:28:03.010] – Allan
Yeah, you know, Sometimes it's very difficult for us to kind of take that step, particularly when we're talking about something as big as, say, COVID or the political issues or whatever. When we're dealing with something that's for the most part outside our control, it's a little bit harder to do that. And there's certain people that are more wired to be able to do that and less, you know, back and forth. We can we can train ourselves.

[00:28:31.760] – Allan
And I think that's one of the cool things is going through the book. You spoke about three mindset forks in the road. And really, as I went through that part of the book, I was like, you know, if we kind of say bread ourselves, but worked on ourselves to try to, you know, utilize these three things, we're gonna face challenges so much better. Could you take a little bit of time to go through those?

[00:28:58.880] – Dr. Taylor
Yes. So I talk about mindsets in terms of basically how you think about a situation and how you think about it relates to how you approach it, how you act on it. And so one of my fork in the road is optimism versus pessimism. And so there's no doubt that this perfect storm of crises we're experiencing, they're all really uncomfortable. They're not pleasant at all. But we still have to deal with them.

[00:29:24.200] – Dr. Taylor
And so with COVID, you know, in a way, by getting all negative and going to the dark side, if you're a Star Wars fan, is it adds insult to injury. So the injury is of course is the threat of COVID or getting COVID and economic stress thats on us. But if we go to the dark side and we're negative and we're defeated and we're catastrophizing, that just adds to more the pain and the stress and the doubt and the worry. So we can approach it with what I call realistic optimism, because it wouldn't be reasonable to say, oh, this is a great experience, this is so fun.

[00:29:58.640] – Dr. Taylor
But realistic optimism for me is OK. We're in this situation. What can what can I get out of this? How can this benefit me and my family? And in using the opportunity, for example, to whether it's exercising more or spending more time with the family and connecting with them more or helping others or whatever, it might be approaching the situation with something of an optimistic, positive mindset. And again, it's not being unrealistic its not deluding ourselves to thinking that, oh, this is the greatest thing in the world, which it's clearly not.

[00:30:28.670] – Dr. Taylor
But we need to look at in a more positive way, and it's a bit of a cliche, have a positive attitude about things. But it's a cliche because it really helps. So that's one that's one mindset fork in the road. The second is disrupted versus stable. The fact is, these crises have disrupted our lives. They've thrown a wrench into all our routines and our habits and things that make us feel good and make us comfortable.

[00:30:53.660] – Dr. Taylor
And so we want to look for. We need to actively create stability in our thinking, and in our interactions. So even within COVID, how can we create routines that create a degree of stability and consistency? These, again, human beings like stability and like consistency. Because going back to another 250,000 years ago in the Serengeti, if we didn't see consistency, if we didn't have stability, the chances are we were going to die. And so, you know, we can't create stability in the world writ large, but we can in our lives by, you know, keep the house clean, eating well, staying committed to work, staying committed to other activities that we're involved in.

[00:31:35.680] – Dr. Taylor
That's another really important for the road, seeking out stability, creating stability and consistency in our lives. The third is a fork in the road is comfort versus risk. Again, our wiring tells us that in a crisis, we want to circle the wagons. We want to retreat. We want to be as comfortable as possible. And there's certainly some value in that. At the same time, though, it's really important that during times of crisis that we push ourselves out of our comfort zone and take some reasonable risks and do some and I don't mean unreasonable risks like like coughing in somebody's face or going outside and socializing within a foot of a person.

[00:32:12.640] – Dr. Taylor
I mean, doing things that will continue to challenge us. And this is a thrival side of us. Doing things to continue to push ourselves to grow and to prosper. And so I think some basic things we can do is, for example. I wrote a blog post recently about five life hacks we can we can engage in to attempt to make our lives better and to use this as an opportunity to grow from this crisis, because it's one thing to grow in normal situations, but if we can grow as people in tough situations, then it's a lot easier to keep that going when life returns to normal.

[00:32:53.570] – Dr. Taylor
So one of those hacks is just how you going to use your time? You know without commuting? There's another couple. Maybe for many people it is an extra hour or two of time in the day. Being very deliberate and thoughtful about how you're going to use your time. I think family is another life hack. How can you grow closer to your family? How can you build your relationships in these close quarters?

[00:33:13.330] – Dr. Taylor
The third and this is sort of a personal thing as well as professional is declutter. Because it's something I saw in our neighborhood in Northern California, where in the first month or so after COVID in shelter in place came into play. We there were tons of junk out on the sidewalks because just clearing out the stuff in your house you are never going to use again is really positive. But it's also a metaphor for just clearing out the junk in your mind, because during crises, our minds get cluttered.

[00:33:41.750] – Dr. Taylor
I've mentioned that several time number four for my life back is exercise. They're very as you well know, as a personal trainer, there are very few things that is therapeutic is getting out and getting exercise and moving our bodies and releasing endorphins. And it's just so positive for our mental health, our levels of stress and so on. The fifth life hack for me, and this is a this would make things a little more challenging.

[00:34:06.870] – Dr. Taylor
This is the tribal side is look for old habits that you don't like and you want to change. And might it might be poor reading. It might be lack of exercise. It might be spending too much time at work and might be spending too much time in from a screen, whatever it is. Identify a habit that you don't like and make an effort to change it. These in a way, that's a gift that COVID has given us because we now have the time and the space and a disruption in the routine of our lives which can maintain habits, forces us to break out of those limitations, to find things that we can do to become better people.

[00:34:47.290] – Allan
For me, it was was Facebook. I got myself off of Facebook because it was not helping at all. So I took a I started about a little over a week or so ago. I decide, OK, I take a break. I've taken some short breaks before, but this has been the longest break I've had from Facebook personally in a while. And some of the positive benefits of that is and I can count probably on half of my hand.

[00:35:12.460] – Allan
How many times I've had zero inbox in my life. I've gotten to zero inbox. So, yeah, a couple of your hacks there just fell in place for me here as I've been dealing with kind of the slow down is the best way I can put it, because until COVID picks back up, my life is just gonna move a lot slower.

[00:35:37.500] – Allan
Dr. Taylor, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:35:46.750] – Dr. Taylor
Yes. Great questions. So I have three. One is exercise, and this has obviously been an overriding theme. But I'm an athlete and I so believe in the power of exercise to make us physically healthier as well as mentally healthier and happier. So exercise number one. Two find something you have a tremendous passion for. No doubt if you care deeply about something, you're gonna be engaged. You're gonna be focused. You're just to be more alive.

[00:36:12.970] – Dr. Taylor
So it doesn't matter what it is. It can be work. It can be something sports related. It can be cultural. It can be religious. It doesn't matter. It can be political. Whatever it is. Find something your passion about and dive into it. Because one thing that's very clear from the research is that people who are passionate about things are the happiest people because they care deeply about something and it engages them.

[00:36:35.570] – Dr. Taylor
And the third is connect. And this is a real problem I've had during COVID in the language use. I'm a word guy from writing, speaking, consulting, words for me, they're my stock and trade. And so when I heard about social distancing, I thought, who came up with that phrase? Because we don't want social distancing. We want physical distancing. Six feet is not a social issue. It's a physical issue. And during this time of isolation, we need to connect more than ever.

[00:37:04.630] – Dr. Taylor
We need social interactions. Now, safely, of course. But it's so important that another one of the most robust findings related to both happiness and stress is that the happiest people, the people who are the less least stressed, are those who have the strongest social relationships and connections. And so one way very powerfully to mitigate a lot of these challenges that we're feeling related to the crises is to connect with others. And if we can maintain those connections and deepen them while we are going through this crisis, we're going to respond to it in a much more positive and much more healthy way.

[00:37:42.640] – Dr. Taylor
And we're much more likely to thrive rather than just survive. And it might just be that we'll just survive rather than just totally falling apart. So exercise, dive into a passion or something and make a real effort to connect. Those are my recipes. Those are my ingredients for for health, fitness and happiness.

[00:38:02.930] – Allan
Those are great. So, Dr. Taylor, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, How to Survive and Thrive When Bad Things Happen, where would you like me to send them?

[00:38:13.410] – Dr. Taylor
Sure, well, two place for the book, everybody, of course, goes to Amazon. Do a search for that or for my name? Dr. Jim Taylor. And it'll come up and also my Web site. DrJimTayor.com I've got so many things. I've got a blog. I've got podcasts around crises and many other issues. You can learn far more than you probably ever want to know about me and my work on my Web site. DrJimTaylor.com.

[00:38:37.830] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcasts.com/444, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Taylor, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:38:47.450] – Dr. Taylor
Great pleasure, Allan, and be well.


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Another episode you may enjoy


Perform better in life with Rocky Snyder

Most of us train our strengths and avoid our weaknesses. In Return to Center, Rocky Snyder shows us how we should be training for longevity instead.


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[00:02:34.380] – Allan
Rocky, welcome to 40+ Fitness. 

[00:02:38.300] – Rocky
Great to be on your show. I really appreciate the time. Thank you.

[00:02:41.550] – Allan
I actually lived in the San Jose area during my career as I was there for about a year before they promoted me and forced me to move to Massachusetts. So I took your route backwards. 

[00:02:55.470] – Rocky
Well, that's fantastic! Now San Jose, yeah we're right over the hill in the Santa Cruz Mountains on the coast here, Central Coast in Santa Cruz. But where did you move to in Massachusetts? 

[00:03:06.200] – Allan
Well, we our offices were in Marlborough. And so I rented a house in Groton and, you know, I would do that drive. But, you know, I I loved, loved, loved going down to Santa Cruz.  That Mountain Pass driving was a little scary, especially sometimes coming back when I was driving and depending on who was drinking? Beautiful, beautiful coastline. Beautiful, beautiful place. And like every time I went down there, I had a good time. So I think you're in a really, really sweet spot there.

[00:03:34.320] – Rocky
We are. You know, Chuck Yeager was the test pilot and fighter pilot who is the first to break the sound barrier. So he was going up in these machines not knowing if they were going to stay together or anything. And the story goes that when he was asked what was the scariest ride he ever took and he said the drive over Highway 17 from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz.

[00:03:55.120] – Allan
 I can believe it. 

[00:03:56.990] – Rocky
I don't know if it's true or not but I'm not going to doubt it. 

[00:04:00.220] – Allan
I can, I can attest to that. It's definitely the scariest ride I've ever done. And I did a 763 foot bungee jump, so, you know. But anyway, your book is called, Return to Center: Strength Training to Realign the Body, Recover from Pain, and Achieve Optimal Performance. And I think everyone here will kind of resonate with the word pain when you're over the age of 40. In many cases, that becomes a regular daily occurrence or a daily part of our lives, unfortunately. And then, you know, when we talk about performance, I was trying to say on here, it's not that we're asking you to run a 100-yard dash or pole vault or run a marathon or anything, but performance is just being the best you you can be. And in many cases, the things we've done in our lives structurally have made us unsound.

[00:04:52.710] – Allan
And your book is basically designed to help us somewhat self diagnose that a little bit and do some exercises that are going to return us to center. So its a really cool book and I was telling you earlier before we got on the call, I was reading the book and I was just thinking the other day I was in my gym, it was  empty because there's no one working out. But I was I was looking in the mirror and I looked at myself for a minute. I said, OK, but after reading your book, I was thinking, damn, he's right. I've got some work to do. 

[00:05:24.690] – Rocky
Well, I think that's the case for everyone in our culture and society. We have evolved so far with technology that it's taken away purposeful physical activity of the human form. And if you don't use it, you lose it. And combine that with maybe surgeries or accidents, illnesses, whatnot. It just draws the body into these places subconsciously that we're adapting into to be the most efficient we can be at any given moment with whatever we're dealing with.

[00:05:57.260] – Rocky
But there's no magic reset button when that experience is all over. Like, you sprain an ankle and you learn subconsciously how to limp around to avoid the pain. And before you know it, that gets normalized. And now the way in which you promote movement and support your body weight has shifted. But the exercise in the gym don't necessarily take that into consideration because most of them were built with the understanding that we're perfectly symmetrical when that actually isn't the case.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Audible. Audible is the leading provider of spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks. Ranging from bestsellers to celebrity memoirs. News, business, history, fiction, and, of course, health and fitness.  The Audible App is completely free to download and use on Apple or Android devices. Have a smartphone and a tablet and like to switch between the two, no worries. The Audible App lets you pick right up where you left off. I find their app to be better and easier to use that any podcast op out there. By the way, they're also producing podcasts.

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[00:08:00.740] – Allan
So like I'll go into the gym and I'll say, okay, let's load up the deadlift bar and I'll get down and I'll, I'll do a good deadlift with good solid form and then, you know, unlike, crossfit athletes, I'll actually set the bar back down, you know, but I don't think of it in terms, and you kind of brought this up and it's something I don't think about is if I were actually trying to use that in any functional way, let's say like, you know, my wife wants to buy a refrigerator and I want to be able to help bring the refrigerator up a flight of stairs to get it into our apartment.

[00:08:34.700] – Allan
I'm not just lifting the refrigerator up and setting it back down. I'm now going to lift it up and actually start taking some steps with that load and if my structure, you know, it's easy for me to keep my structure intact when I'm just standing still, or at least I think it's easy. It's easier for sure but then I do that lift, but because I'm not necessarily properly aligned, because you know, I've had issues that have happened in the past.

[00:09:02.750] – Allan
I'm so much more prone to injury. And it's not through strength and as you said in the book, it's actually not even really, if you think about it, a true functional strength for me to be able to do a deadlift.

[00:09:13.850] – Rocky
No, in fact, you're doing a deadlift with a compromise structure, repeating the pattern of movement you've developed over the course of that time, which is going to favor the body to bring certain muscles into play, but not others. And then what happens over time is not only does a wear pattern occur probably in joints or tissue like ligaments or tendons, but an imbalance in the levels of forced production that the muscles are generating. So now it's not actually self-correcting in bringing you back into a more balanced align place, but further taking you out of alignment, compromising your structure to a greater degree.

[00:09:55.190] – Rocky
But the interesting thing is now you can generate more force and heavier loads, but your structure is more compromised. So it's just piling more and more weight onto a structure that is weakening over time. And you continue to do that and something has got to give. Whether it's the lower back or a knee or a hip or or headaches or migraines or irritable bowel syndrome, it can manifest in a whole bunch of different ways. It doesn't necessarily have to mean joint pain.

[00:10:22.400] – Rocky
You know, we have so many wonderful approaches in our culture these days that have mainstreamed in to our way of health and fitness, such as chiropractic medicine. It's 125 years old today. It's not today, but this year. And its primary focus is to bring the body back into alignment where joints are properly spaced, where muscles have a proper balance, where internal organs are in their proper position and the nervous system flows unimpeded.

[00:10:53.540] – Rocky
The same thing with acupuncture. If people will go to an acupuncturist, they have a different philosophy. But the fundamental approach or the philosophy is the same. But the approach is different. So they're trying to get the energy to flow unimpeded. And then even massage therapy or yoga. These are all approaches that are all about restoring the body back to a central place. Unfortunately, our culture has created a fitness movement that is based upon the aesthetics of bodybuilding, the explosiveness of Olympic style weightlifting, and the brute force of power lifting, all of which do not take into consideration trying to restore the body back into a more balanced form.

[00:11:40.310] – Rocky
So the whole thought behind the book was, well, can't we take these movements that we're familiar with and create a way in which we can use them as tools to guide us back to a more balanced place where joints have their best spacing, where nerves can actually conduct proper messages to the muscles to produce even greater amounts of force. So we have greater amounts of balance with less wear and tear on the body. And these movements can actually benefit us over the long run and create an enhanced longevity rather than diminish us. That's that's the whole goal within the book.

[00:12:17.470] – Allan
Yeah. Now you put something in the book, and when the first time I read it, I said, OK, I know I obviously misread that. I then I read it again. And then I read it again, like. He just said what I thought he said. And then I read it a third time and like, OK, I'm going to have to keep reading, but I'm also going to use this as a question and ask, you said something in the book that was, the joints move and then the muscles react. 

[00:12:49.780] – Rocky
That's right. Joints act, muscles react. It's one of the laws of motion. According to one of my mentors, Gary Ward, who is the author of What the Foot and an incredible education course for physical therapists, movement specialists, chiropractors and medical doctors even have taken this course, called Anatomy and Motion. And essentially, it's this joints move where joints act and muscles react. Imagine this, Allan. You're standing up and you want to sit down in your chair. Are the muscles pulling you into the chair? 

[00:13:23.870] – Allan
Well, no. In that instance, I'm definitely allowing gravity at the moment.

[00:13:29.190] – Rocky
Gravity, Yes. And therefore, the joints must move. And just moments before the muscles kick in, because the joints move into a falling position and then the muscles control the deceleration of your body into that chair. So the joints act followed by a muscular reaction. That's one way in which we move. The other way is that muscles must lengthen before they shorten. And that would be maybe getting out of the chair as you get out of the chair, you need to lean forward and load tissue, muscle tissue into a lengthened position in order for the nerves to understand that they need to actually now start shortening to lift you out of the chair.

[00:14:12.030] – Rocky
So joints act, muscles react. And then muscles lengthen before they contract and using those those governing laws of human motion, now we can start to look or filter through that how exercises are planned out or even just looking at the common exercises in a gym. Most of them don't really abide by that. Such as just a simple bicep curl that everyone loves or bench press. You know, we focus on the shortening of the muscle, but not necessarily lengthening and loading into the tissue all that much.

[00:14:47.610] – Rocky
It will lengthen, as you say, lower the bar down. But it lengthens back to just the neutral point before shortening back up again. So how we move through space is actually we we elongate the muscle tissue, followed by a very short concentric contraction to propel us forward. Most of the time, it's all about controlling the fall of landing on planet Earth with a very short kind of powerful contraction to leave planet Earth. Then in biomechanics, we call that pronation landing on the planet and supination driving off the planet. 

[00:15:21.350] – Rocky
Those are really our two options when we consider movement. And then it's just variations of pronation or supination. If you do it properly, then all the joints move the way they should. All the muscles react the way they should. Whether you're landing or leaving. But so many people don't do that properly. And so we take that that understanding of biomechanics and apply it to strength and conditioning so that we're not only getting a person stronger and building a more aesthetically pleasing frame, that's those are byproducts. It's really can we get the efficiency of movement re-established, balance better created a posture, restoration occurring. And and just overall, the organic function like organ function, actually restoring if we bring the body back in balance. It's more than just, you know, lifting weights and putting them down.

[00:16:11.040] – Allan
Yeah. And you were in one part of the book. You were talking about this hairdresser, hairstylist. And I think that that one was where it kind of all resonated with me because it was like there was there was one kink in the armor. You know, we'll talk about chains and other bodies, a chain, and if you mess up one little bit and we do, that is a part of corrective exercise. We'll talk about. 

[00:16:33.150] – Allan
We have to deal with this imbalance or this problem or that. But taking it to that level of the joint before the muscle, you had the situation with his hairdresser. And it was a big toe. 

[00:16:45.680] – Rocky
Yeah. You know, the hardest thing for me to unlearn doing what I do is to not go to the muscle or soft tissue first because we're trained as trainers to know what muscle does what. But we're not trained in terms so much of what the joints do. And when we talk about joints now, I'll tell you about the hairstyle, the story a second. But when we talk about joints, we've got three hundred and sixty joints in the body and those joints are surrounded by a whole bunch of muscles, not just one muscle or one big muscle, but dozens of muscles around most joints like the big ones, especially like the hip and pelvis, had fifty seven muscles that cross over the pelvis.

[00:17:25.950] – Rocky
Some go down the legs, some go up to the spine, a rib cage or a couple go to the arms. You know, we've got all these muscles that cross a joint and conventionally we've been blaming one particular muscle that being weak or using the word inhibited in trying to get that one muscle to turn on and all the world's problems will be solved because we get the glute medias to fire. But in truth, maybe it's just the way in which the joints are moving that are shutting that muscle off.

[00:17:53.390] – Rocky
Maybe if we got the joints to properly move through three dimensional space that we awaken and restore all the soft tissue so that it's not just the glute that's turning on that we need. What about turning off other tissue? So in the case of the hairstylists, this neighboring salon a person came over from and she could not lift her arm beyond shoulder height and without excruciating pain. And she had worked pretty well with the physical therapist to get her arm, at least up to that point over the course of weeks or months. 

[00:18:27.610] – Rocky
And she just came over and say, is there anything you can do to help me? I had to go home yesterday. I couldn't even cut. I'm in so much pain, I can barely lift my arm. I can't even hold scissors right now. So we just went through a history of what her life had been like. What has she experience? And maybe it was something really recent. Like she had fallen and landed on her shoulder.

[00:18:48.140] – Rocky
That could have been it. But it wasn't she didn't have anything wrong with her shoulder. She didn't hit it or hurt it in any way. It's something that developed over time. We found out she had a hysterectomy. She told me about you shared that information, which could very well the scar could have pulled her out of alignment  and put strain on her frame and made it harder for her to lift her shoulder. She had broken her big toe, and actually had surgery where she had pins in the base of her foot had to be implanted or inserted so that they could create, I guess, a better position for the foot. Whatever the orthopedic thought was the the way of doing it. That's what they did. And there was some other kind of things going on. What we found out, was well, I honestly, I just asked her to lift her big toes off the floor with her feet on the ground just to see what kind of movement those toes might have.

[00:19:41.840] – Rocky
And she couldn't lift her injured foot, the toes of that foot off the ground at all, which to me, knowing how joints have a relationship with one another was something I really wanted to explore. And so we started looking at that. She said, oh, you know what? I had this this fall and when a few years after I had that surgery on the foot and actually the pins dislodged through the surface of my soul and they had to remove them.

[00:20:10.750] – Rocky
I'm like,  Wow. Well, that's pretty significant information. What do you think the likelihood of her brain is thinking about putting weight on a foot where the last time that happened, like pins shot out the base of it? Chances are no one's going to want to put some weight on that area. So we started to get some weight onto her foot and get her to load weight properly over that injured site, which is no longer painful because the injury was so long ago.

[00:20:40.040] – Rocky
But the brain doesn't know that it's still on this feedback loop of doing the same pattern over and over to try and survive that injury and surgery and so on. So once we got weight over that foot, I asked her just to check in with her range of motion on that shoulder and she was able to raise it up over shoulder height, not quite overhead, but without any pain. And she was just kind of like, wow, that's OK, I didn't do anything for your shoulder. 

[00:21:07.460] – Rocky
We didn't do any stretches or rubber band exercises. All we did was put weight on the front of your foot. And now your shoulder moves better. Well, isn't that something worth exploring? So we did a little bit more loading onto that that foot loading into the leg, getting the joints to behave in a way that they should. The knee should go this way. The hips should go that way. The pelvis should tilt this way.

[00:21:29.420] – Rocky
The rib cage should tilt this way and so on, and just get her to feel these movements. And then she checked in with her shoulder again and her arm shot clear up to the ceiling. No pain. She was able to reach back behind her as if she was like sitting in a chair and reaching back for her purse. No pain. She was just dumbstruck. And really, it just shows you that symptom based approach. When somebody, if somebody goes into a doctor or some type of professional and says, I have shoulder pain. The first thing they're gonna do is look at the shoulder. 

[00:21:59.540] – Rocky
If there's inflammation, they're going to tell them, take anti inflammatories and rest it. When the inflammation is just saying, I'm using this maybe too much or I'm using it in a way that it's not meant to use. Maybe there's some other areas that aren't doing their fair share in life. Maybe we should hunt down those. They don't do that. They just look at the symptom. They may give them some type of shoulder action and then send them on their way.

[00:22:23.900] – Rocky
And the problem wasn't there at all. It was just the problem was really the foot and how she managed the mass of her body standing at work and walking through space. And that opposite shoulder was taking its toll because of it. 

[00:22:39.560] – Allan
Yeah. Now, we touched on this before. And I think it's. I think it's. First, a circle back around and actually go through them, but you said your mentor came up with this anatomy of emotion. In the book, you shared five rules. Could you go through those five rules, which we touched on one of them? Could you go through the rest of them?

[00:22:57.200] – Rocky
Certainly. So joints act, muscles react, which is a very hard one for a lot of people to get their head around. Once you do, it opens up a greater understanding of human movement. In essence, muscles lengthen before they shorten. So we have to like a rubber band, we have to cool back before we let it go flying. That's just how muscles will work. We lengthen and load before we explode. Then we're also hardwired for perfection.

[00:23:24.200] – Rocky
So if we think about the brain's primary purpose, it's first primary goal is to survive. And in order for that brain to survive, it must have oxygen. Fuel. Blood flow. And that means that anything that takes away from its primary purpose is going to be not as efficient as it needs to be. So the brain is constantly adjusting on a subconscious autonomic level, the way in which the body is moving and existing in the most efficient way it can.

[00:23:59.120] – Rocky
And that means that say you sprain your ankle. Now, what way are you going to move? Well, the brain is going to say, well, we've got to shift the weight a little bit over more onto this leg. We'll let the person push off their toes. But we're not going to come striking down on the heel because that's going to be painful. So we need to adjust it. No, it's not the most efficient way, but it's the next most efficient way that we can do it.

[00:24:22.460] – Rocky
You don't sprain your ankle and suddenly the brain says, you know what? Let's start by doing handsprings or walking on your hands. That would not make sense. So we are hard wired for perfection. On the flip side of that, if we give the body or the brain an efficient, a more efficient way of moving than what it currently is doing, then the brain is going to say, oh, that's actually a better way. It's reducing the need to expend excess energy.

[00:24:49.910] – Rocky
So that means better survival for me. Let's reinforce that movement pattern more. So if we can put somebody into a place where they are moving more efficiently, the brain is going to reinforce that, especially if that movement is reinforced physically over time, the brain will just continually try and strive for that. And so there's three we orbit around a center, meaning that as you stand still, you're not really standing still. Your breath is bringing the rib cage in and out.

[00:25:23.360] – Rocky
The food that you digested is moving through your body. Blood is coursing throughout your body and your mass is constantly shifting over your feet to try and keep you from falling down. So we're always orbiting around this ideal center. And the further we travel from center, the more compromised our structure and the weaker we typically are. So when the chiropractor adjusts your spine or hips or whatever, and pulls you back into better alignment, you're actually in a much more balanced place.

[00:25:55.790] – Rocky
And you have a center that is closer to the ideal from which you can orbit. And so that's that's a big part of what we look for, as is where is a person's mass and where is their center? Can we restore it into a more efficient manner and halfway between both feet, halfway between forward and back, where ideally, no matter where you go, you're starting from a central place. And then the other one is your your movements are dictated by your perceived center.

[00:26:28.530] – Rocky
So not the the true ideal. But wherever you find yourself shifting your body, that normalizes. And the further away you get from center, the less you are going to move optimally. You will, there are plenty of athletes out there that are not properly aligned and they are some of the best ones to get around their imbalances and their restrictions and still be world class athletes. But just imagine if we were to take that world class athlete and actually bring them back into a much more centrated place. What might their potential be from there? 

[00:27:05.600] – Rocky
So those are the five rules of movement. And so we're for a motion that I will not only abide by, but I use as a governing kind of compass to help direct the programs we design in our studio to be the most effective they can be for all people that come in here. And I've had NFL players, NHL, NBA,  Santa Cruz isn't the hub for those sports, but they wander through here and they'll train with me.

[00:27:37.230] – Rocky
I've got some World-Class surfers, of course, being in Santa Cruz, but then we've also got grandparents and little kids. Everybody can really abide by the philosophy of restoring a person back to a central place for optimal movement and performance compared to the conventional way that it's been going on for four decades now.

[00:28:00.950] – Allan
And the conventional way, which is the way we were brought up, you know, muscle fitness and the whole bit. And we always thought about movement. And, you know, you talked about the pillars of human movement when you got into this strength part of the book, and I thought it was fascinating because I got into there and it was you know, we talked about level changing the push and the pool, which I think any fundamental exercise program is really going to focus on those three things.

[00:28:28.380] – Allan
They just always have and always will. It's the rotation and the locomotion, which are the other two that seem to get ignored in the strength formula. Can you talk a little bit about the pillars of human movement and how we can utilize those to optimize the work that we are doing? Because we're going to do some strength training. We need to know how we can optimize it using those fillers.

[00:28:52.080] – Rocky
Well, the interesting thing about the first three level change, which is examples, the four major examples would be a squat, a deadlift, a lunge and a step up. Two of those, more often than not, are are performed bilaterally, meaning that both legs are doing the exact hopefully the exact same thing. At the same time, when you're doing a squat, both legs should be flexing at the hips and knees and ankles on the lowering down and then reverse directions as you come up.

[00:29:21.180] – Rocky
And the deadlift we're hinging at the hips and we're tilting in the pelvis and so on. But if. The same thing is kind of holding true when we think about push and pull more often, when somebody thinks about pushing exercise, they're going to think of push ups and bench press. When they think of pulling, they're going to think of some type of inverted pull up or a pull up itself or a seated row. All of these are bilateral movements.

[00:29:46.930] – Rocky
And so the interesting thing I find, Allan, is that the majority of programs that that I see sometimes from other trainers, from professional sports teams even, is that they are so heavily biased toward these bilateral movements that all they're concerned with is this forward and backward action. In fact, most every exercise I've just listed, the squat, the deadlift, the bench press, push ups, pull ups, they can all be performed inside a doorway. So there's no real lateral movement and there's no rotational movement.

[00:30:19.990] – Rocky
And yet we're trying to train maybe athletes with these programs, say, a basketball player or a tennis player where a lot of their movement is three dimensional. They are shifting side to side covering the court. They're having to spin or turn to return a ball or to pass it or to pivot around a defender. And yet they're doing the majority of their strength and conditioning is all forward and back. So what happens is if it hampers or or dampens their ability to move in three dimensions.

[00:30:50.650] – Rocky
So when it comes to rotation, there's many ways that we can create rotation. In fact, if you looked at an anatomy chart, you'll find that most muscles attach not in a complete vertical or horizontal manner, but they're diagonal that the striations are attaching in one area in either going up or down in a slanting action before attaching somewhere else to the body. So when those muscles shorten, they actually cause rotation. And when we run, we've got to have one leg swing forward while the other pushes off from behind or the opposite arm is swinging forward while the other one is driving back, creating rotation through the rib cage and the pelvis.

[00:31:28.930] – Rocky
And there's even rotation occurring down into our ankles and our knees, our neck, our elbows. And yet, if we're not incorporating some kind of maybe a reeducation or a renaissance of movement with rotation, then chances are they're not going to be doing it properly and only areas that are really willing to rotate are going to take on the role of that. And unfortunately, one of the most common places that's not really designed for rotation, but take on the rotation when the hips or mid back or locked up is the lower back.

[00:32:03.260] – Rocky
And 80% of the people that we come into contact with sometime in our life are going to have a lower back issue, some greater than others. But the the amount of sitting that we do as a nation and the amount of standing in place without purposefully moving through space are going to lock down the hips and lock down the middle back. And the place in between that. That link in between is going to wreak havoc on our whole existence because the back is only meant to maybe rotate five or six degrees left and right, not as much as, say, it is asked to on a regular basis.

[00:32:36.520] – Rocky
And then when it comes to locomotion. Well, I mean, we've been we've been on our feet for two million years being hominids, you know, on contralateral bipeds, meaning that one arm swings opposite with a leg. And we do that. Hopefully the average American does five thousand steps a day. But ideally, we want to do 10000 steps a day like the average Europeans, I guess. So we wear those little Fitbit to let us know that we're not moving enough.

[00:33:03.310] – Rocky
Right. So even if you did the math, if we were to ideally do 10000 steps a day, that's three million six hundred fifty thousand repetitions over the course of a year. And if you're not doing it well, if you're not actually landing properly, then you're going to do that for almost four million repetitions, almost two million times on each leg improperly.

[00:33:26.320] – Rocky
So if you land not so well on your foot, that's going to have an effect on how the knee has to behave in the hip and the spine. So much so that then people want to go and run. So now you've taken improper gait mechanics, people that are compromised in the way of moving, whether great or small, and now you're going to apply more force and activity to it. It's no wonder that we're going to see a lot of Covid related running injuries already, if not over the next few months, because that's one of the things people can do while they're sheltered in place, is just go outside and go for a jog.

[00:34:02.560] – Rocky
Well, if you've been sedentary for a prolonged period of time, there's no magic reset button you can hit when you walk out the door. It's just going to restore it. So it's probably a good idea to get a sense of where your missing movement, what's moving too much. Can I create a program that helps to address those issues and balance things out? 

[00:34:24.180] – Allan
And you've got some great guidelines and exercises in the book. So someone can actually physically look at themselves in the mirror or have someone else look at them and kind of give them somewhat of a diagnosis of saying, OK, there's an issue here that we want to we want to drill down a little bit more into.

[00:34:40.430] – Rocky
Yeah. Exactly. There's three assessment tools that we put in the book. One is simply an easy way, a quick kind of resources. Where is the weight in your feet? Because by knowing that we can have somewhat of an educated guess what might be going on with the rest of your structure. Just where your mass is migrating toward. If you have more weight on one heel and the opposite forefoot, that's telling us you've got some torsion or rotation in your frame somewhere.

[00:35:08.970] – Rocky
And we can kind of just map it out where it might be and get a sense of. OK, well, these these movements these drills may be good for you to start to explore and see if you benefit from them. Then you can do, like you say, a posture assessment standing in the mirror where my shoulders  relative to my head or where is my pelvis? Is one slightly higher on one side than the other. Do I tilt forward into my hips or do they tuck under.

[00:35:34.650] – Rocky
And so on. And then the third way of assessing is the breakdown of gait mechanics to a very basic degree, like can my hips and pelvis tilt forward and backwards? Can they sway evenly side to side? Can they tilt evenly unrestricted side to side? And can they rotate left or right? And you can do the same thing with the rib cage and the shoulders. And once you understand what's missing in these are where you struggle. It tells you, well these are the movements that you should have at your disposal every time you take a step across the room. 

[00:36:08.200] – Rocky
And if you struggle with these basic movements, then, you know, you're compromising  your whole way of moving and compensating and asking areas to do more than they should. So you can take the gait mechanics and this movement kind of assessment. You can do a static posture assessment or you can do foot pressure. Any of those will lead you down the same trail to get to where maybe you might want to explore in terms of movement, flexibility and what now?

[00:36:34.260] – Allan
A lot of times when we're not moving well and we do that for a number of times, we could be three million, it could be one hundred million, because we've been doing it for decades. We're going to invariably end up with a side effect. And that side effect we typically call pain because we want to groove. And that's not the kind of groove we want to have. So we have to deal with pain. And in the book, you share some guidelines for pain. Could you share those with us? I think this is I think this is really important for us to know, because really, I think this brings forward something that most of us are looking for help with pain. And I think many cases when a recognized movement can actually be part of the solution. 

[00:37:13.140] – Rocky
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. First, I mean, pain pain is a wonderful thing. It may not feel great in the moment, but pain as it is, is  the subconscious brain's way of trying to communicate with a conscious mind and letting you know that whatever you're doing in this moment is not necessarily what we need to do.

[00:37:37.200] – Rocky
It's stressing us and it's creating a threat within those, you know, ultimately the survival of the brain. So the brain is going to send a threat signal to the conscious minds to let it know whatever is going on right now. Can we change that a little bit? It doesn't mean that we have to stop necessarily moving and rest and ice compression elevation. That may be the case for some things, but it could be that your brain is saying, you know, when you do this, let's take the squat for an example. When you do the squat and your knee is creating some pain. It doesn't mean that there's something going on in the knee. It could just mean that the mechanics that you're creating here are not the most ideal and it's putting strain in a place that isn't ready to handle so much. 

[00:38:25.830] – Rocky
So pain can come on many levels. A low level of pain might be simply itching.  And a high level of pain is obviously something so excruciating that your frozen can't move or you've got to find a place where you can get out of it.

[00:38:41.580] – Rocky
So there are some guidelines. Like one thing is don't try and move into pain. And this is the whole, can we smash the no pain, no gain mentality that we've been brought up with generation after generation? In essence, I want to quote Gary Gray with the Gray Institute. He's out in Michigan, a phenomenal physical therapist who has done remarkable work for the entire fitness industry and physical therapy world as far as I'm concerned. He once said, I want the body to sing, not scream.

[00:39:13.230] – Rocky
And I've used that as a guiding light to to know what movements I really want my clients and for that matter myself to try and explore. The body shouldn't be burning, burning, burning. Like, I'm really just trying to get the burn going, because that's not really truly what I need. I want to feel that the body is after a workout that I am almost floating, that I am springing almost weightless, that I'm feeling taller in my body, that I have better alignment, that my movements are not something that I have to premeditate in regards to how am I going to climb these stairs or how am I going to bend over? 

[00:39:56.350] – Rocky
You shouldn't have to think how to move. The body should naturally wanted to. But so many people are hesitant to move because the pain response has been something that has been reinforced over time. So don't move into pain. Recognize pain for what it is in that it's your brain's way of telling you we might need to look at this, maybe modify the movement.

[00:40:21.220] – Rocky
Maybe you're going too far and you need to just shorten it a little bit to a point where you can accommodate the movement and then start to explore the ranges a little bit more. Those those are basically the guidelines that that I encourage people here. And I'm constantly saying, how does that feel after every movement? Go ahead and walk around, use even simple walking as your assessment. Does that feel better? Where do you feel this? There's a whole bunch of ways we can assess after every movement.

[00:40:50.030] – Rocky
But simply put, walking is a great way, especially for me doing gait analysis. I can see an immediate effect following an exercise on anybody that does it more often than not and go, OK that's that's what they need right now. That is actually drawing them back into a more comfortable swing with their arms, their bodies more lined, whatever the case may be.

[00:41:10.930] – Allan
And I think I appreciate you saying that. No pain, no gain, because I just think that mantra is going to take us a long, long time to kill that one. But, you know, one of the key things that I came out of this with as we were talking, you know, the whole strength part was fascinating, was that we don't often think about the value of efficiency. We think about the brute force of big, strong and moving big things, particularly guys, you know, the egos of how much can you bench mindset. 

[00:41:39.100] – Allan
But if you can move more efficiently. Then you're moving more weight without that additional muscle mass or effort. And I think that's a key thing that a lot of people miss, is that,  you'll see them.  We used to call them Grandpa strong or farm boy strong where they're wiry and thin. But somehow they're a lot stronger than you would ever give them credit for. And it's just because they have good movement patterns.

[00:42:07.380] – Allan
They work outdoors, they they do their things and they've just developed good movement. And they're efficient. They're very efficient with the way they're using strength.

[00:42:15.870] – Rocky
And the brain itself, the brain is the governing wire here in terms of the ability to shrink levels or force production. However, you'd like to consider it, if your body is in a compromised position, the brain is going to lower the level of forced production as a protective mechanism so that you don't get injured more often than not. So if you bring yourself back into a more structurally integrated place, that is balance where the joints can communicate and they have this beautiful, connected, integrative relationship with each other, then the brain is going to say, hey, we're good.

[00:42:52.830] – Rocky
Let's let's go for it. Let's let's exert more force. So that brings into question what strength really, what is strength? Is strength just your ability to produce force? If so, I can actually get somebody stronger in just a matter of seconds. Like, for instance, just have them do some particular exercise where they're challenging their strength level and then give them a movement that draws them back into better alignment, whether it be a mobility drill or actually strength exercise or maybe it's honestly just using the foam roll and hitting some target spots that have been drawing them out of alignment and then have them try that same movement again and reassess their strength levels.

[00:43:36.210] – Rocky
And I can easily make it so that their strength levels elevate then compared to the initial time or, you know, opposite in the spectrum, I give them the wrong thing and their strength levels decrease because it's pulled them further out of alignment. We're constantly in flux. And the other thing I'll say is that everyone is has a tendency to do the movements they are good at and not necessarily the movements that they need to improve upon. We focus on our strengths and neglect the areas where our bodies struggle to move into and out of.

[00:44:12.840] – Rocky
So everyone that goes to the gym has a certain program that they follow. And if they change the program around, they're still going to be a couple of exercises they'd like to do. And that's good to some degree, we have certain movement. So and then we reinforce that. So we never ask the question, well, where is it that I'm weak? Where where do I need to actually move my body? Where do I not go? Because  the less we go there, the more likely the brain is just going to negate that movement entirely. So we're not going to know how to experience it. So a key here to get the body to be more efficient is to explore all movements that we can create. And  that takes time. But it's a nice process nonetheless.

[00:45:00.810] – Allan
And that's why I appreciate the self realisation as I thought back of looking at myself in the mirror, because I do think there's there's a lot of improvement that I now see in myself that I think I was a little bit blind to before. If you're hitting your numbers, you know, I've got that deadlift down to about where I want it for this age. I've got that squat and now my bench press is OK, but it could be better, you know, kind of thing. But the bilateral Push-Pull level stuff that was always been out there and I just see a huge opportunity for for me to improve. 

[00:45:33.990] – Rocky
Yeah. Well, I love the fact that your listening audience at the 40 Plus Fitness podcast, obviously you might have some under 40, but that's about the cutoff point for those that have been exercising all their life in the conventional way.

[00:45:48.210] – Rocky
And and repetitive action, shoulder impingement could be considered repetitive stress syndrome for bench pressing repetitively over time. Right. It's not just carpal tunnel, but somewhere along the way, in the forties, we start to realize, oh, OK, this I got to think of my future in longevity and do I want to go through surgery after surgery of replacing this joint or that joint and so on. Now we have to rethink the way in which we exercise. And it's not just about the mating ritual of life in the 20s and trying to find your significant other in a bikini on the beach or whatever it is.

[00:46:24.570] – Rocky
We actually have to think about what true fitness and health is for me as I go into my 50s, 60s and beyond. So  the routines that we've been following, bodybuilding based circuit machines in the gym and those type of things have had their time in the sun, I guess. Now it's time to rethink how it is we want to treat our bodies as we go into the summer of our life in the autumn and so on. 

[00:46:50.390] – Allan
Now, Rocky, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:47:00.860] – Rocky
Wow, that's a great way of defining wellness. You know, I don't give a lot of recommendations on nutrition because that is a science unto itself that would require an entire lifetime to focus on. There are certain things that I have a tendency to lean toward, and that is food not made by man. So those that are found in nature and hopefully those that are grown in that manner are the things we might want to put into our body that we're working with. Staying away from from processed issues.

[00:47:38.720] – Rocky
So the fittest. Well. I guess would have to think about what fit is fit for me is the ability to have the ability physically to pursue whichever activity I so desire. Now, it may need some conditioning. For instance, I enjoy surfing and mountain biking. But if I were to start to change my enjoyment towards, say, oh, maybe running or basketball, well, I'm not in running or basketball shape. I am in surfing and mountain biking shape. So I might have to create a kind of a different approach to that in order to get there.

[00:48:25.100] – Rocky
And happiest. Happiest. All right. Happiest is we're talking a mood that can change at any point in time that actually can shift much more readily and more quick than, say, healthy and fit. But happiest for me is community service, because getting outside the self. Anything that's self-serving. I guess healthy and fit would be more the self. Focused the centric way of of helping to create wellness within.

[00:48:57.460] – Rocky
But then we have to think of the other aspect, the duality of nature and how I find happiness is going outside of myself, doing things for others without being found out and not telling anything to anybody about it. That's that's a huge one for me. OR just offering things out to the community. For instance, since we've been in sheltered in place March 16th, we've just opened up online exercise for the community at large, senior fitness classes, kids, P.E. classes, Spanish speaking classes, webinars for health and wellness  and asking nothing in return, just simply putting it out there for the community free of charge and whatnot, because that's hopefully that's what we do, is we help each other out and and we we grow as a society and help one another. So I think those for me, those are strategies and tactics that I would take. 

[00:49:55.700] – Allan
Thank you, Rocky. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about what you're doing and your book, Return to Center, where would you like me to send them? 

[00:50:05.950] – Rocky
Rockysnyder.com.  You can go to rockysnyder.com. You can also go to YouTube, because the one thing I didn't mention about the book is within the book we have embedded these little QR codes. So as you're reading through the book or the e-book, which will soon be released, probably by the end of July, if not right about now, you'll take that QR code with your phone and just scan over it with your camera.

[00:50:32.470] – Rocky
And instantly, a YouTube video pertaining to that drill or concept or exercise will appear on your phone to give you even more insight and it'll be maybe two to four minute video. So it's hopefully going to be more like a pocket personal trainer, which will give you even more information than the written word would. So they can they can go to the YouTube channel that all the videos are housed on, which you can just search my name, Rocky Snyder, CSCS, which is certified strength conditioning specialist.

[00:51:03.160] – Rocky
And we've got hundreds, literally hundreds. I think I'm up to about 400 videos on there. And some of them are the ones I spoke of earlier about the community service where if you are, say, 60 plus or more and you want some movements for you or your say 40 and you want to learn how you can get a workout just using a backpack only, there's a whole bunch of different things you can check out.

[00:51:28.030] – Allan
Cool. Rocky, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness. 

[00:51:32.970] – Rocky
It's been my pleasure. And I just appreciate the opportunity to come on in and share and and I hope that somebody finds some good within the pages of the book. And if you do, I'd love to hear about it. You can email me rocky@rockysfitnesscenter.com. I'd love to get feedback whether you think it was a good book or not. Let me know. I take criticism, I guess. No, I don't take criticism very well. I'd like to say I do, but I'm not that big of a person. 

[00:52:00.730] – Allan
It was a good book.

[00:52:02.080] – Rocky
Thank you.

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Another episode you may enjoy


Cancer is curable now with Marcus Freudenmann

In the documentary, Cancer is Curable Now, Marcus Freudenmann shows us some alternative treatments for cancer that are showing great promise with less damage.

To learn more about some of the equipment we discussed on this episode, please go to Healthy To Be.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is also sponsored by Lumen.


Allan (00:56):
Marcus. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Marcus (00:59):
Thank you for inviting me. I'm very excited to be here.

Allan (01:03):
You know, most of the time when I have a guest on, it's a book and that book, you know, will take me anywhere from six to 12 hours to read depending on how long the book is. You took all the information. I think I would have gotten from a book and you put it into a documentary that was less than two hours long. Congratulations for that. That was pretty insane.

Marcus (01:24):
Well, we live in a fast paced world and most people don't have that endless time to go through, but let's face it that way. Once you are intrigued, there is a workbook that comes with the movie and that is 460 pages. You can go much deeper.

Allan (01:48):
Okay. Yes. Okay. I did not read the workbook. I promise I didn't do that homework. But I did watch the documentary and had Dr. Gerson on to talk about her method. And I've had someone on this speak about that before. So I'm basically familiar with a lot of this and you know, we're over 40, I'm over 50. The C word, is one of those words that just kind of, every time he goes to see your doctor, every time you have a lab test you kinda expect it. It's going to come up at some point.

Marcus (02:20):
Hi. Yeah, I know that feeling. I'm over 60.

Allan (02:25):
And so, right now we're like, okay, what's going on in my body is there's this, there's just these things happening. I obviously have no, yeah, I don't feel like I have control over. But we're going to talk about that a little bit later because I actually do, but can we talk about what is cancer when someone gets a diagnosis of cancer from their doctor, what exactly is the doctor telling them?

Marcus (02:46):
Oh, well there's many different, well, it most of all shows that there is an imbalance in your system that your body can't control anymore. Or some would call it the final breakdown of the immune system. It's definitely immune system related disease and I would just simply call it an overwhelm. There's too many things your immune system should be doing and fixing and repairing and getting rid of. And it's overworked, it's tired, and it's like an army that slowly disintegrates and doesn't do what it's supposed to do because some of the soldiers are stopped then others are living in very unfavorable conditions. And I like to make those, you know, images, because when we think about you have a complete army of soldiers that defend you and repair and fix your white blood cells and they have just too much to do. And that's usually the reason why we move with age into a cancer state. But until you get the lump bump state, as they call it, it takes six to seven years. So it's not something that happens overnight. It's something that slowly grows. And there is many components that we know that support growth and many that stop growth. So it's something that we can control quite easily.

Allan (04:13):
Okay. So I'm gonna take your war battle and I'm going to carry that out. Now we're going to keep going with that one. Okay. So I see cancer and you, talked about this a little bit in the documentary, or a lot of people talked about this documentary and this was really one of the cooler parts of it was okay, so cancer's going to get in, for lack of a better word, a battle front formation. It's going to clump together. And so it's all going to, you know, the cancer cells are all gonna accumulate and they're gonna all be in one locate location. And then, you know, they'll tell you, you know, in the old, particularly in old times, supply chain supply line, if you're not getting the things that you need for your forces and your cutoff, that forces, it's just going to lay there and die. But cancer can actually develop its own supply line from our own blood system. Can you kind of explain how that process works? Because like I said, it was, for me, it was fascinating to say, okay, here's something that my body should just be beating out and saying, get out of here. You don't belong here. But it's clumped up, set a formation and now it's, getting its supply line set up.

Marcus (05:20):
Well it cancer has many attributes to defend itself and it's more or less a cell in complete survival mode. They don't need the environment anymore. And this is where the biggest discovery has been. A cancer cell has stopped dying so it tries to survive in unfavorable conditions. There was a study in Switzerland done which was quite significant. They took when they did surgery and removed a tumor, whether that prostate or the breast or any tumor that they removed, they always cut out a little bit more tumor tissue around so that they get it all, you know, like the, the typical sentence so that we get it all. And then there was a toxicological report done on tumor tissue and unhealthy tissue and the level of heavy metals, the level of bacteria, mold, candida, fungal overgrowth was tested in tumor tissue compared to the healthy tissue.

Marcus (06:28):
And the results were really significant. Tumor tissue usually had up to 40,000 times higher concentration of heavy metals of bacteria overgrowth. It's been, it's like the body collects toxins and puts them all together into a package, you know, to prevent it if you can't detoxify, and a lot of us have impaired detox pathways so the body doesn't know what to do with those toxins. So it stores it in a place and packages. And that's why usually cancer grows in fat tissue. That's well, what do you store those toxins? So when you look at brain tumors, for example, cholesterol, it's pure fat tissue. So there is many places that your body just starts to hog up toxins. And then within that environment, bacteria and heavy metals in combination get very close together. It's like a root canal filled teeth with a metal pin that is breeding bacteria.

Marcus (07:37):
And these bacteria transform, for example, mercury into dimethylmercury mercury, which is deadly in a very short time. In the same way you have heavy metal accumulation of arsenic or mercury or cadmium or whatever in tissue with that high load of bacteria, which then transform the metal into arsenic, for example. And that is where they end. Those breeding places of mutated cells happen. Cancer cell is just simply mutated and the mutation, the change that it stops dying and that's the apoptosis effect is more or less a survival mechanism of that cell, which is either in high inflamed areas or in areas of low oxygen or is an area that are totally poisoned and polluted and these cells then survive and become mutated cells, which is a cancer cell. So all of us, you, me at the age of five years old, up to the age of 80 years old, you know, we all have every single day many cancer cells that produced in our body based on the, that we are surrounded with based on the toxins in the air and the fish, you know, like mercury heavy metals, we know coal mining, all of those things.

Marcus (09:04):
They throw out a lot of pollutants and we all develop cancer cells. Now our normal immune system, our army would then clean up, and they would clean up in many different areas. So they eat mutated cells, they eat cells that are or destroy cells that are just intermediate. We always say there is like a progression state from a healthy cell to a cancer cell. There's many steps in between. And so those immune cells clean up and tidy up if they are working properly. But now imagine you have leaky gut for example. It's one of those prime examples. Leaky gut means when you eat, there is little perforations, little holes in your colon and in your small intestine where food particles and bacteria and undigested proteins are squeezed out into the bloodstream. So it's like a garden hose that is too old and gets little holes and sprinkles in all directions like a water fountain.

Marcus (10:12):
And that's the same that happens in our body. We have a few added components why leaky gut happens. For example, any kind of Roundup use that we have in all our normal sprayed vegetables, they cause leaky gut. Heavy metals cause leaky gut stress causes leaky gut. So there's many things. So when somebody has leaky gut, every meal, they eat huge amounts of bacteria and undigested proteins are squeezed into the bloodstream. That's an imminent threat to your body, an imminent threat to your whole health. So your body will use all the soldiers, all the army to clean up that leaky gut, the mess that is created and will ignore cancer cells, ignore infections, ignores bacteria, and Hheavy metals because that's not relevant right now. And that's how we occupy our soldiers instead of letting them do the right work. And there's so many, I would call leaky gut phenomenons, you know, food sensitivities, allergies, creams that we put on externally that are absorbed into the bloodstream that then go to the liver. There's so many components, how we suppress our immune system every single day. That it's just overworked. And that's when the cancer cells start to center, start to build clusters and start to grow. And once they are connected to the blood supply and good glucose sugar, then they are perfect in fermenting that sugar. And that's creating a belt around them so that the cancer cells are protected. So it's a very sophisticated survival mechanism that kills us.

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Allan (13:21):
Now, most of the time we go into the doctor and they're going to give us a diagnosis. They're going to say, okay, you have prostate cancer or you know you have breast cancer and they have a protocol and their protocol is, is typically nuclear war. We're going to do chemo, radiation, removable or all of the above. Can you talk about those standard treatments because, you know, I've had a few people on, we've talked about prostate cancer, we've talked about some other cancers and there's always a downside to almost every treatment protocol that's currently out there in Western medicine.

Marcus (14:00):
Yeah, it's, this is often the philosophical question, because what we believe in what helps. See if people believe in conventional medicine can do incredible things. I, I always, I'm very cautious to say doesn't work or it's not the right way to do because for some people it does. I think there is a strong belief pattern. If I know chemotherapy will poison me or that radiation is like and terminal and stops everything healthy from growing, then that will happen. So we have a lot of discrepancy here based on belief. But in general using poison to kill in a body that is already overburdened usually with poison or with toxins or with heavy metals or with bacteria, you know, bacteria, poop and pee. As I always say, they create neurotoxins as a waste product. So there is a lot that is already overburdened and if I didn't use more chemicals, it's sometimes a miracle how patients survive.

Marcus (15:13):
Even with that extra on-slaughter instead of cleaning up. See the biggest problem that we have and what you just mentioned, you have prostate cancer, you have breast cancer. We look at the disease and we focus on the disease. When I made the documentary and traveled around the world there was like always which treatments do we do? Which treatments are most effective? That was my main concern and I was focusing on that. And until I came to Dr. Rao in Switzerland, he said, Marcus, you're asking really stupid questions. Who cares about treatments. I was like 10 years of research. I thought I had it. I was freaking shocked when he just put me on the spot and said, you're really off the plot. And then he explained, he pulled three charts out and said, look at those three breast cancer patients. They all have breast cancer they are all around the 42-48 mark. The first client has cancer because of self-loathing, a series of trauma from childhood being abused.

Marcus (16:21):
She doesn't care for herself. Very high, acidic, very low oxygen, slightly obese, but no care for herself. That would constitute into already enough reason for her to have cancer. The other patient has a viral infection, Epstein Barr virus infection combined with mold toxicity and she lives in a very high EMF environment in a high rise where pretty much everybody has an EMF router plus the telephone pole is not far away. So she was really exposed and we know that mold in combination with EMF is very toxic. And then having EBV on top, plenty sufficient reason to develop breast cancer while the third client had actually really dental problems. She had three different metals in her mouth, which causes a galvanic reaction and released huge amounts of mercury into her system. Plus she had detox pathways in there that, you know, she couldn't get rid of toxins no matter what.

Marcus (17:27):
They all just reoccurred in her body but couldn't, couldn't be eliminated. So seeing that three identical cancers had three completely different reasons, was already like a big awakening. And then we looked at the treatment protocols and all three had a completely different approach to getting rid of those causes. And once we did, all three patients recovered. And that's, I think it was about 10 years ago when that happened. I never forget, I sit in that office and it was first time clear to me that we are not treating disease. We need to treat the patient who has the disease and remove all those things that surprised the immune system overburdened system that was clear. And I followed through with, we had, oh God over 50,000 people who watched the documentary and studied with us and I reported back and that's when it became clear that we need to completely go away from looking at the cancer. Just, you know, some people get cancer, those get fibromyalgia and another one gets depression. It just depends on where those toxins settle and where the problem establishes.

Allan (18:48):
Okay. Now in the documentary you talked about some alternatives. So if we realize, okay, if we're, we're not talking about just trying to remove a tumor or reduce a tumor or those types of things. We're actually talking about taking care of our health as a functional, you know, it's kind of a more of a functional medicine approach. You talked about a few different things in that documented like ozone treatment. Hyperthermia and PEMF. Could you kind of talk about those?

Marcus (19:21):
Yeah, there is many treatments that support the immune system. There's many treatments that remove some of the main causes. For example, when you look at ozone, ozone is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal. It removes all of the biome and balances it out if you have an overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori or Klebsiella. All of those bacteria that we, we need, but we need a very small quantity in our body. And when they overgrow because the menu is wrong, then ozone will correct that. And it's been, you know, 30 years in Europe as a standard treatment for every kind of infection. And it's proven. In fact there's hundreds of studies, but it's not allowed in most of the world. So in Australia, doctors lose their license if they offer ozone, even in Germany, they are clamping down on it. So it's a treatment that is not welcome yet it is super effective.

Marcus (20:31):
And because it is so easy to do, we teach patients and clients how to use it at home. So it's a standard treatment that you can do at home. And you more or less help your body to get rid of infections, local infections, skin infections, bacterial infections. It helps healing with leaky gut. It's an amazing treatment and because you couldn't do it daily at home effects are really, really fast. So we have now since probably about two years, a lot of medical professionals, clinics and doctors that work with patients, sell them bundles or sell them equipment so that they can continue the treatment at home. If you go to a $30,000, $50,000 clinic in Germany and you go through a three week treatment, they give you a device home afterwards because they know that your chances of success are massively increased just by doing those treatments at home.

Marcus (21:33):
And that's the same with hypothermia. You know hypothermia is the natural healing response of your body. If you have a cold, a viral infection, a bacterial infection, what is the first response of your body?

Allan (21:49):

Marcus (21:50):
A fever. Exactly. And the body stops the reproduction of the virus at 39 Celsius. I think that's 1.2 or 1.8 or something like that. So it stops the reproduction. The virus is just a string of RNA and that goes into a cell, and then that RNA or DNA will then tell your cell to replicate out of amino acids, a virus. So all of a sudden that one string goes into a cell and then replicates thousands of clones. Now that process is stopped immediately at 39 Celsius fever, which means your body says, Oh, we have a virus that shouldn't be in my body. It starts affecting cells.

Marcus (22:45):
Let's upregulate the temperature, and then we stop reproduction. That's the first step. Then you go into the next step, which is think about, you know Darth Vader and the soldiers. We all know them, the ones in white uniform, they're sitting on a long production line in your bone marrow and all of a sudden as soon as the temperature goes up, that's a signal that those new soldiers that are built in your bone marrow are released into the bloodstream. So as soon as you go into a fever, your body releases out of the bone marrow, thousands of white blood cells, killer cells, that are then cleaning up with that virus. And the infected cells. And that is usually a process that takes two days. And that's why when children get a cold or when you have your spring cold, it's coming for two or three days, then you have a short period of time and then it disappears again after you had your fever.

Marcus (23:51):
And that is the normal response of your body. And we recreate that with the hypothermia dome. So it's the same thing. We heat the body up in about 30 to 45 minutes to fever temperature. We stop all reproduction of virus and bacteria and then we heat the body further up so that it releases all those white blood cells. And there is another super effect that has been documented a thousand times and that's why it's used in conventional clinics now as well. It flags pathogens and floating cancer STEM cells with heat shock proteins. And I always say it's like when a cancer cell floats in our blood, it's invisible because it's a cell from our body. But if I heat the body up, then all of a sudden the cells that can't handle heat very well, which are cancer cells, they create heat shock proteins, they grow green hair and all of a sudden your immune system, all those new soldiers that are available look around and see all the guys with green hair need to be eliminated and they start attacking.

Marcus (25:01):
So it's triple effect that you get with hypothermia. And that's why it's the fourth pillar of conventional treatments in Germany and it's now used in so many university clinics to bring back a patient. Let's say you have chemotherapy and your white blood cell count goes down, well then they do hypothermia to bring your white blood cell count back up and then they continue chemotherapy. It also reduces the side effects. You need less chemotherapy to have the same effect because your cells are better supplied its an incredible system. So they use that and because it's illegal in America and Australia and New Zealand and England, well we teach people how to do it at home.

Allan (25:51):
And the cool thing documentary was that you can do this. There's localized and then there's a whole body. And so the treatment home I assume is more localized versus the whole body.

Marcus (26:04):
The other way around, the whole body is very easy to do at home, whereas the local hypothermia device is about $500,000. And they are not something people choose to do.

Allan (26:19):
Yeah, that's a little outside my budget. Okay, and then last one we talked about was PEMF.

Marcus (26:29):
I always say it's like a toothbrush. When you use it too long, it gets tired and then it stops, you know, those electric toothbrush. And then you put them into a dock, into a little stand and they recharge and there is no cable connected. It's just induced energy through magnetic waves. And that's pretty much the same thing. We live in a world that has a magnetic field around. And by moving through that magnetic field and moving through different forms of magnetic field, we are alive. Ourselves, have energy. It's an energy field that keeps us strong and alive. Now we can replicate this energy field and this recharge station with a pulsing magnetic field and those pulsing magnetic fields, they act in very similar ways. Like a recharge. All of your cells slowly lose, you know, that membrane potential.

Marcus (27:36):
They get tired, like we all do. Lack of nutrients, toxicity, exhaustion, all of those things contribute. Now, if I sit myself on a PMF device while watching, you know, a movie on a lazy boy, it doesn't really matter. It's like recharging every single cell. And if you keep doing the treatment for two, three, four days, you will find that your inflammation goes down, your gut starts healing, your energy levels goes up, your healing expedites, if you have open wounds, they start healing faster. It's a massive energy boost that we can give ourselves. And that's why most clinics in Europe and in America use PMF as a reach out full patients. When you think about having a cold, how exhausting that is. And we all know when you, when you have just a simple problem, how much it drains the body. Now think about you have tumors or you have infections or you have large inflamed areas. That is draining you of energy and the less energy you have, the less you can heal because the body needs tremendous amounts to detoxify, of energy, to detoxify, to heal, to repair.

Marcus (29:00):
And that's what we give it with that PMF machine. So it makes, I've sold one, I have to tell you, that was my biggest transformation. I sold one to a retirement village and after a few weeks the nurses called and said, Marcus, we do have a problem with the device. Would you mind coming by and I went there and she said, we exchanged the problem. Before we had moaning and grumpy and pain and tired. And you know, now we have parties in the corridor. We have people sneaking out at nights and going out for adventures. The whole dynamic change, dancing in the corridor, we would like to order four more machines. That was a very sweet, you know, testimony of how, especially elderly people really reach out with that device. And if you look at the demographic of people in hospitals and clinics that are run down, it's the same for them. It just gives them a massive boost.

Allan (30:04):
Now, one of the things that kind of resonated with me as we start talking about these other protocols is that, they are, I want to say life building versus destroying. So it's not the nuclear bomb, it's the how do we provide more resources for our troops, if you will. But there's a way for us to avoid the war in the first place, or at least while we're fighting the war for us to make sure we have a really good battle plan and a really good battle field position. And that's our lifestyle. Could you talk a little bit about that?

Marcus (30:40):
Yes. Let me very shortly say when you get diagnosed, and I think everybody stumbles upon that learning curve in a very similar way. We don't know before it's too late. There is a small demographic of people you know who care for mom and dad or who look after a relative who has been diagnosed with cancer. So they are what I call early status. They witnessed and do the learning curve at an early stage and they are also the ones that usually learn how to prevent. The normal general demographic needs to hit their nose on the world before they start waking up.

Allan (31:21):
Well, in all fairness, Marcus, that they're listening to this podcast, they're woke, they're ready, they're ready to have this conversation. They're there, they're looking after our health. So we're ready. So what are those things we can do?

Marcus (31:34):
The most important is in regards to you are set up, there is five main components. Number one is stress. Constant stress suppresses your immune system and that is really important. The second one is toxicity that we absorb and consume. And it starts from, you know, sprayed vegetables to Monsanto grown grain and corn and all of those things which just, you know, they are designed to keep bugs away. Then they also do that in your gut. So the, the affects of sprayed food and toxic food and preservatives and colors and flavors, they really make a massive impact. Then it's also what medication you take and the side effects of those medications. There is so many components. And for me that was actually always the most irritating part of the whole lot. You know, healthy lifestyle, doing exercise, eating right food and having the right nutrients and having enough oxygen.

Marcus (32:43):
It all is one big part. And what we've done is we created a mind map and that mind map takes you through all of those individual steps. You know, how are you teeth connected? How are they related to certain organs? How is your mind connected to the whole thing? What are different exercises that you can do during the day? How is oxygen connected to cancer? Oxygen is one of the key proponents for spreading angiogenesis for the building of cause. Cancer cells don't need oxygen, they ferment the food, whereas your healthy cells need oxygen. So how can we implement more oxygen into our life, feed all cells with more oxygen? And that mind map is actually very, very detailed. There's so many different components and you will have a very different set of combination of things that you miss out on as someone else. And that's why we made that mind map. And God, we had over 50,000 people go through that training and it really shows that everyone has a different set of reasons to be sick and out of their environment, out of their habits, how they grew up, and to look through that mind map and look through all the different departments. That's where it really becomes obvious, Oh, that's one of my blind spots or this is one of the reasons that triggered my disease.

Allan (34:11):
Marcus, I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Marcus (34:21):
Three out of my many oxygen would be number one. Trusting the body that it knows what it's doing and not interfering with medication. I think that's one of the key factors, especially in present times where a lot of people don't trust their body and suppress fever with any kind of fever suppressing medication that is always very, very challenging. That's what we know, increases cytokine storms and causes a lot of havoc. So trusting in the body and allowing the body to really do the work it's designed to do and supporting it in ways that are very natural like exercise, outdoor sweating, sweat lodges. We've seen tremendous change by doing that and becoming aware of what surrounds you, becoming aware of how toxic your intake, your food intake, your surrounding your environment is. And that starts with EMF all the way to the food that you eat.

Allan (35:33):
Cool. So Marcus, if someone wanted to more about you, more about the documentary, Cancer is Curable Now or your truly healthy stuff. You're doin tons of stuff. Your site is really big, you know, spend a lot of time out there. If someone wanted to learn more about all that, where would you like for me to send them?

Marcus (35:57):
Trulyheal.com so it's trulyheal.com/40plusfitness. And I've put a page together where you have access to training that we provide internally to our students. So it's a six-part video training that takes you through every single thing that is important to look at. And you have access to the documentary, you have access to the research. It's all on those pages. It's quite a massive load of information. I always say it's the shortcut that I've been looking for. When my friend was diagnosed and we started to look, you know, you run into a thousand different information streams and you don't know which one is the right one. And what we've done in that training is actually give clarity to all the different things that we know and that we can combine into a very, very effective healing program.

Healthy To Be

Allan (37:02):
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary, so I know this is a really good site. So if you want to learn more about this, if you can't write this down right now, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/436. This is episode 436 or just go to the main podcast website and you can find the link there. Okay, Marcus, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Marcus (37:25):
Thank you so much for inviting me.

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Another episode you may enjoy


Walk your way to better with Joyce Shulman

Joyce Shulman is the Cofounder and CEO of Macaroni Kid and 99 Walks and she strongly believes that walking is the key to improving your lifestyle. Today we're going to discuss her new book, Walk Your Way to Better.


Allan (02:48):
Joyce, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Joyce (02:50):
Thanks Allan. I'm thrilled to be here with you.

Allan (02:53):
Now. I am a huge fan of walking. I think it is one of the most underutilized ways of serving our body. And I say that that way because we're going to get into depth of walking is not just a fitness thing. And I really liked your approach to that. The name of your book is Walk Your Way to Better. And you know, as I was reading through the title I was like, Oh better. You know? And so you know, the words are in your head, health and all and wellness and fitness. And so I think there's a reason you stopped right there after the word better and didn't put the rest of it there.

Joyce (03:32):
Absolutely. So I agree with you. Walking is so simple and so incredibly powerful and I just don't think that we recognize or give it the emphasis that we should. So walking has been shown to improve your mind, your mood, and your body in really, really profound ways. So as you say, it's not just your physical, it's your mental and your emotional.

Allan (04:00):
You know, as you look at things like the blue zones that they're doing studies on and you kind of think about ancestral health and the way people were before we had access to cars and bikes and planes and motorcycles and everything else. We used to have to walk to do most of the things. We walk to go get our water, we would walk to go forage, we'd walk to hunt and we may even migrate. And so there were days of walking to get to a better area for hunting and gathering and doing things. We don't do as much walking now as we did that.

Joyce (04:35):
Absolutely. And I believe, and there are a whole lot of people that agree with me, we were just not meant to sit as long and as much as we're sitting, we're built to move.

Allan (04:47):
Yeah. And you were an attorney at one point. I was an accountant.

Joyce (04:51):
We sat a lot. Right?

Allan (04:54):
Sorry you didn't like accounting. But you know, it's just as we think about that, it's like, yeah, we take these jobs because they're going to give us what we need to take care of our families. But then at the same time, we're not necessarily taking care of ourselves, therefore we're not in a position to always take care of our families. That's kind of a bad, bad paradox to be in.

Joyce (05:16):
Exactly right.

Allan (05:18):
So why is walking so valuable?

Joyce (05:21):
So there's boatloads of research on walking on all of the benefits of walking. So I'll just hit sort of some of the top lines when you talk about walking. And I'm gonna leave the body and physical to last because, while it's super important, it's not even where I want to start. So walking has been proven to have a really great impact on your mood. It's been shown to be a valuable tool in combating depression and warding off depression. It's been shown to have an immediate impact on boosting and improving your mood and mindset. So great for your mind. Great for your mood and then for your mind walking has been shown to improve your decision-making ability, help give you energy. And there's a really interesting study that shows that a regular walking practice literally makes your brain bigger. And then just a couple of years ago, fascinating research out of Stanford University shows that a walk can improve your creativity, your ability to create new ideas and have fresh thoughts by up to 60%. It's incredibly powerful.

Allan (06:35):
Yeah. I know you said in the book you were talking about jobs and some of the other people we would think were these great minds and thinkers. They used walking as their creativity space.

Joyce (06:45):
Absolutely. Uh, Aristotle, Socrates, Benjamin Franklin was a big Walker. Darwin was a big Walker. Uh, so people who are under the kind of pressure to constantly be creating new ideas, processing new ideas, innovating. It's the most effective way you can do that.

Allan (07:08):
And then there are the physical aspects.

Joyce (07:11):
Yup. So a regular walking practice has been shown to reduce your risk of dementia, diabetes, osteoporosis, several types of cancers. There's one study that shows that a regular walking practice can add up to seven years to your life.

Allan (07:28):
That's huge. That's huge.

Joyce (07:30):
It's incredible.

Allan (07:31):
You know, I've seen a study before that said, if you just, you walk just five to 10 minutes after a meal, it helps you regulate your blood sugar.

Joyce (07:40):
We're meant to move. We are not meant to finish a big meal and sit in front of the television or in front of social media. We're just not.

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Allan (07:49):
And then beyond that, you had a, I mean, I've seen this other stat out there, well at least another aspect that you've talked about, how walking should kind of get rid of those emotional toxins. It also helps us get rid of physical toxins. Our lymphatic system is, it doesn't have its own pump system. It relies on our muscles or skeletal muscles to actually cause that lymph to move around. And that's flushing toxins out of our body. So if we're sitting still, we're letting ourselves get toxic.

Joyce (08:17):
And you know what's so interesting to me when you look at the last many years, remember the days when people would go in for surgery and then they would be told by their doctors to rest, right? Lie around. And all of that has changed. Practically, regardless of what the nature of the surgery is, as soon as they can get people up and walking, even little bits, they're getting them moving.

Allan (08:44):
Yeah. I had a friend recently, uh, he had a hip replacement and within a day they want him up walking on that hip, you know, just the thought of having them sawing through the bone, applying this metal apparatus, you know, this metal apparatus to your body. And then the next day they're not like, just lay there for six weeks and heal. They're like, nope, you have to be moving.

Joyce (09:05):
Right. And, and 20, 30 years ago they would've had that guy in bed for days.

Allan (09:17):
Yeah, or the wheelchair rest of his life. Yeah. So, you know, walking is something that we must do. It's not should, I mean, we've got to get past the should, the walking is a must. But when you start this conversation of, okay, we've got to walk, and then someone sits there and says, well you know, this is a very busy week for me. I've got to pull an extra shift, I had to you know, I took on extra training time. I've got extra the interviews and things to do this week. I've got, you know, of course my, my other regular stuff that's going on, you know, and I've got to read these three books. And so you kind of pile those and then you say, well where am I going to fit the time to do this walking? Why, why do we have difficulty with that, whereas if you said, okay, you need to take your kid to little league practice, that's a non negotiable. We just, we just do it, but we don't take the time for self care. Why? Why is that?

Joyce (10:10):
You know, there are so many reasons that keep us from taking good care of ourselves. And the first is something that you mentioned just a couple of minutes ago, which is around this paradox of us feeling like we have to do for other people and not take care of ourselves. The paradox of that is if we don't take care of ourselves, we are not capable of taking the best care of the people we love. So that's kind of counterintuitive you want to do for other people and you think that that's the way to do the best you can. The second is we're all just too busy. We have filled our plates to overflowing and we need to take some responsibility and some ownership around that and it's something that I'm working on personally to really try to grab hold of my calendar on a day to day basis and be sure that I am not filling it with things that are just making me busy. Busy is like a badge of honor now. Right. When you say to, when you see somebody you haven't seen for a while and you say to them, how are you the knee jerk? Everybody says, Oh, I'm so busy. And I think the last piece of it, especially for women is we're still being sent the message that taking care of ourselves is selfish and I just think we have to continue to work to try to change that message and change that paradigm.

Allan (11:33):
Yeah, I'm reading the Daily Stoic now. I went, I went through all of that last year. I was really proud of myself for doing that because it was, I've had this book for over three years and each year I get to a certain point and then I stop and I lose it. Last year was the first year I made it through the entire year and I'm reading through it again this year. It's called the Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, And the funny thing is yesterday's lesson was to not be busy. To be aware of where you're spending your time and what is a a true obligation and what are those things that we just put on ourselves out of guilt and other means. And that's what I really liked about the structure of your book as you break it into 99 walks in each walk is not just a let's get out and walk today and that's your goal.

Allan (12:17):
And then tell me how it went. You're really diving into mindset and one of the things that you got into there that I'd like to kind of get into after you tell me about the structure, the 99 walks and why you put it that way was the making of time, you know, you actually have one of the walks where it's dedicated specifically to making time for this self care. So can you talk through the walks of how you put this together and how this is helpful. And then, you know, some of these that are lessons that you think are pretty valuable for us to go as we're, as we're looking at having a walking practice.

Joyce (12:50):
Absolutely. So the book, as you say, is broken into 99 short sections. Thought starters, research stories, all designed to give people something to contemplate, to think about, to percolate on. One of the things that I see in my own life and in the lives of my friends and the people I talk to all the time is there is a lot of really interesting information and content out there. And I think we're getting better at identifying it and reading it, but I don't think we're giving our selves the chance to really absorb and process it. And because I know how powerful walking is for the way your mind works and the way your mood improves. And of course all the physical, I thought, wouldn't it be amazing if I can share 99 things that I think are important for people to think about and encourage them to then take a couple of minutes to give themselves the chance to percolate and really absorb those messages. So that's, that's my goal. That's my hope.

Allan (13:52):
Well, I think you've accomplished that. That's why I was saying, you know, that's why I brought up the book, the Daily Stoic is because that's kind of my daily sit down, have something to ponder and then I'll meditate on it. I haven't turned that into a walking practice. But you got me, you got me really thinking about that. That's maybe that's how I go about this. But this is a similar structure of here's your daily lesson, give it some thought. And I really like a lot of the things that you get into. Like I said, finding time and then I actually, I quoted a quote out of you. Let me, let me look it up real quick. I've got it. I put it on my Facebook page because, my Facebook group, because I, it was kinda one of those things as I was reading it, I'm like, somebody needs to hear this today. I know someone needs to hear this today. And it was, you deserve your dreams. You deserve your dreams. And so that was one of the lessons as you're kind of going through is have big dreams and then realize you deserve them and should still be working toward them.

Joyce (14:51):
You just can never give up. You can't abandon your dreams, you can't abandon your sense of self. But I do want to talk for a minute. Let's circle back and talk a little bit about, making time.

Allan (15:04):

Joyce (15:04):
Can we dig into that a little bit?

Allan (15:06):
Absolutely. Please.

Joyce (15:07):
So I do talk about that a fair bit in the book in a couple of different contexts, even because we are all so busy that we think we don't have time and a lot of people refer to it as finding time. How am I going to find time for the things that are important? And the first thing I always say to people is, it's not about finding time, it's about making time. It's about saying, this is important for me, therefore it's important for my family. If you need that to encourage you to actually take those steps forward and then you have to make the time.

Joyce (15:44):
So one of the stories I tell, and I won't, I don't want to belabor it, but my daughter was doing gymnastics and I would go and she really wanted me to watch her entire class. And I thought, this is being a good mom. I'm going to sit and I'm going to watch it. I'm going to support her. And then at some point I realized she was sort of performing for me. And that's not what that experience was about for her. That's not what I wanted that experience to be for her. So I started taking 30 minutes and going for a walk. So I would drop her off, get her settled, leave and go take my walk, come back and watch the last 15 minutes and all of a sudden I found 30 minutes in my day, twice a week.

Allan (16:23):
Yes, I've heard, I've heard of moms doing that, you know, taking their child to soccer practice and then just walking around the field.

Joyce (16:28):
You don't have to watch them.

Allan (16:33):
They're awesome. But yeah. And I think one of the keys of what you put forward there, is about the prioritization. You know, what are those things that we are doing that really aren't serving us. You know, sitting there watching really wasn't serving you or your daughter, whereas you going for the walk, you're going to come back at the end of her practice with so much more energy. She's going to be energized because of what she did. You're going to be energized for what she did and then the drive home is a much, I think probably it was a much more joyful experience.

Joyce (17:08):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Because to your point earlier, you are better able to show up for the people you love when you are in a better space, when you are taking care of yourself.

Allan (17:19):
And that's one of the things I really like about the 99 Walks in each one is you're going through a, you're sharing a lot of personal stories yourself and your stories included and it's really just kind of one of those times for you to wrap your mind around something, kind of let go, be mindful of what you're doing. Go out there with some intention and solve some problems and as you said in the book, there might only be a couple dozen of these that really resonate. There might be some that just completely don't apply. You know, as a guy reading the book, I was like, well, you know, a lot of these lessons, if I just read them out, right, wouldn't necessarily apply to me. But if I think about what the underlying purpose of that discussion is about, it applies to all of us at some point.

Joyce (18:03):
For sure. We're all suffering from decision fatigue, even if we don't know it. We all need to be mindful of the people we're surrounding ourselves with. We all have to be intentional about how we're spending our time so much.

Allan (18:20):
Now you've, you've put together this organization, it's called 99 Walks and it's, I went to the website. It's actually really cool. You're doing monthly challenges. You're building community. In a lot of sense. It's, it's more than getting people to walk more. I mean that's, it's awesome, but it's about connection. It's about eliminating some of that isolation and loneliness. We have, you know, you might have a thousand friends on Facebook or Instagram, but you still can feel very lonely. Can you talk about what your organization 99 Walks is doing and how it, how it's, how it's put together and how it's benefited you.

Joyce (18:55):
Yeah, you're so right about the loneliness piece. We have some proprietary research that 73% of American women experience loneliness and that dovetails with some national research around both women and men who put that number right about 70% so there really is a loneliness crisis going on, a very quiet crisis going on in this country because people don't want to talk about that. People don't want to raise their hand and say I am lonely because it makes you feel bad. It's something people are super self conscious about. But the reality is most people are wrestling with that. So I thought if we can create community and encourage people to get out and move in what is this incredibly simple but effective and powerful way. Just by lacing up your sneakers and walking out the door, we could really start to effectuate change. So 99 Walks is a movement to get, we are very focused on women in 99 Walks. So our mission is to get a million women walking. And we do that with a wonderful walk tracker and these monthly challenges. And we reward our members with what we call wearable inspiration, which is a tangible reminder of the goals that you have accomplished at the end of the month. Uh, and building this very powerful, supportive and wonderful community. And along the way we're trying to educate people as well.

Allan (20:26):
Yeah. And I think that's one of the key things here is this is about being, you know, kind of a healthier, better, happier person. Not because you're out there, you know, speed walking for three hours. But you're just getting out and you're in a community, rather you're walking particularly with people around you in your local area or you know, virtually by having friends online that you know, are going through similar things. It's just getting out for that, you know, that 5, 10, 15 maybe 30 minutes each day as a part of, or at least several times during the month as you set your goals to just trying to do that for yourself. That self care that we struggle with.

Joyce (21:04):
It's always, and you know this from the fitness world, it always starts with the mindset and the mood because when people start moving, you don't see physical changes or physical benefits for some period of time if that's your goal. But if you are really tapped in and paying attention to how you feel and how your brain is working, you'll realize that you feel better from day one of getting yourself moving. I assume you've seen this with clients and with other people, right?

Allan (21:34):
Oh yeah. Yeah. I have some clients here that prior to working with me had like zero exercise at all. You know they might walk around a little bit here over around town, but really not a lot. Um, and you get them into a program and the first day they're just, you know, they're just dad on their feet. They're struggling to do any of the exercises and then you're, you're sitting with them, you know, a month later, yeah, they're pumping out reps, you know, they're not getting winded. They're, they're smiling while they're doing some of the work. They're joking while we're going through some of the exercises and um, you know, so there is this kind of boost and it's not just a physical thing. It's really this emotional, they leave feeling better, not just about themselves, but just feeling better in general. There's a, just a wellness that comes out of movement. It's just really hard to explain until you've experienced it.

Joyce (22:28):
Exactly. That's exactly it. And then with 99 Walks, my hope is that we can encourage people who, who haven't had that feeling, who don't know how much better they can feel simply by moving their body and connecting with other people.

Allan (22:44):
And so start with the first walk. Just get that first one done? But by the time you get the 99 Walks in, I do believe that they're going to see some exceptional change in their lives from a mental perspective and a physical perspective. I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Joyce (23:06):
Oh just three.

Allan (23:08):
We have to start somewhere and then we can add on later. But yeah, just three please.

Joyce (23:12):
Yeah, the first, and forgive me cause I'm repeating or I'm repeating myself and I'm repeating what we've been talking about, but it's being willing to invest in yourself and that means investing the time and making your wellness in that broad definition a priority. And the second I think is being willing to do the work. One of the things that I've come to really accept in my life over the last many years of hard work is that everything takes work. Whether it's happiness, people think that happiness is a destination and you can get there and you can just hang out. But the truth is happiness takes ongoing, consistent work to do the things that lead to happiness. Fitness, wellness, those things take work. It's a lot easier to pick up the fast food than it is to go home and wash the kale. It just takes work. And the third is, and this is really important, is surrounding yourself with people who are like minded in that way. I have a section in the book called people are like bananas, which is one of my favorite expressions, but it goes to the fact that you will inevitably take on some of the characteristics of the people with whom you surround yourself. So if you are surrounding yourself with people who don't take care of themselves with people who are not happy with people who don't prioritize wellness, you're going to take on some of those characteristics to your own detriment. Well, thank you Joyce.

Allan (24:50):
If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book and what you're doing over at 99 Walks, where would you like me to send them?

Joyce (24:58):
Well, the book is available on Amazon so you can just head over to Amazon and search, Walk Your Way to Better. I am available on social media and all the channels that Joyce R Shullman, and to learn more about 99 Walks and our movement, you can find us online 99walks.fit and the 99 Walks app is available both Amazon and Android.

Allan (25:20):
So they can get the book, they can contact a local friend and say, Hey friend, I bought you a copy too. We're going to do this. And when they get their book they can, they can start their 99 Walks. So Joyce, thank you so much for being a part of 40 plus fitness. Uh, if you guys want to get the links, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/429. So Joyce again, sorry. Thank you so much for being a part of 40 plus fitness.

Joyce (25:43):
Absolutely. My pleasure. Allan, thanks so much.


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