Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In Pursuit of Resilience

Resilience (noun):  an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

It's a very common word but not a word I had read, heard or spoken in a long time.  I realized when I read that word recently that this is exactly what I am chasing.  This is the perfect word to describe why I do what I do.  Stress will come and it will come in many forms.  This is inevitable but will I be prepared?

I believe we are always being bombarded with challenges that could cause us real health problems.  No matter where we live or how clean/careful we may be, there are challenges that will be unavoidable. It’s like living in a shooting range. Better to have good armor than to try to constantly dodge the bullets

I eat the way I do to minimize environmental challenges while also bolstering my own immune system.  Inflammation is an immune response.  I eat to avoid and reduce inflammation.  I also eat to help reduce oxidation and it's effects.  There are literally trillions of bacteria cells in our body, many being important for proper immune function.  Eating fermented foods adds to the good bacteria in my gut while keeping the bad bacteria in check.  This proper balance of bacteria is just now being recognized as important to health in many different ways.

I also exercise with resilience in mind.  I do as much exercise as possible standing up.  This builds full body strength, balance, and coordination.  I do as much as I am able to without shoes.  This will help keep my feet strong.  An injured foot can cause overcompensation throughout the body and possibly instigate further injuries.  My primary mode of exercise is weight training.  This helps me retain muscle and strength that is needed for vitality and injury avoidance later in life.  It is always better to be strong and old rather than weak and old.

My mental resilience has always been least in my opinion.  Psychological stress never really got to me.  I do believe that avoiding the highs and lows in energy that a high glucose diet can cause has helped me be even more even keel than ever.  Limiting stimulants and depressants helps in this respect too.  Avoiding prescription drugs that can have adverse psychological side effects will reduce the possibility of mood imbalances or loss of emotional control.

I have made a point in the last few years to consistently expose myself to cold temperatures.  I suspect being exposed to cold was more often the norm for my ancestors.  As a result of being outside in the cold a lot and taking cold showers almost daily, the cold weather does not make me nearly as uncomfortable as it used to.  I live in an area of the world where I better accept and endure the cold or submit to a funk of depression ever 7-8 months.  Despite the cold, I believe we still need to be outside for our health.

All this in preparation for future stress.  I don't want to live forever but I also don't want to suffer through the last years of my life.  The better I am able to handle stress the greater my quality of life.

So in 2012 I have a few more pursuits I am going to work on to hopefully increase my resilience.  I am going to ramp up my sprinting to increase my heart strength as I don't do aerobic activity.  I am also going to increase my consumption of fermented foods and homemade stocks.  What are you going to do in 2012 to become more resilient?


1 comment:

MAS said...

Excellent post. Resilience is my favorite word.