One of the most manly things a man can do is take a cold shower first thing in the morning – Anon
Back At It
So I have been back in the gym for just over a five months.
I had a near full year off from the gym in 2016 because of niggling injuries from lifting too heavy to soon, and from not getting enough quality sleep and nutrition; and of course having way too much hot sex (just kidding…).
My body needed a rest so I eventually gave it what it asked for.
Read any reputable fitness magazine and you’ll come across articles about how your body tells you when it’s time to have a break, but like many I didn’t listen at first.
The warning signs for me were slower than normal recovery, and feeling lethargic throughout the day. At first I ignored these signals and ‘soldiered on.’
Had I listened straight away, chances are I wouldn’t have needed to take nearly a year off from something I enjoy, and can safely say I wouldn’t have added inches to my waistline.
But rather than dwell on it or beat myself up I learned from the experience; I am now more attune to what my body is telling me, and see the whole experience as a positive one: I have fine tuned my training routine, diet, recovery, and have taken up traditional and non-traditional manly activities like Warrior Yoga, martial arts training, wood -chopping, and correct breathing exercises for mental and physical well being.
My Manly Diet For A Healthy Mind
- Warrior Yoga – 10 minutes a day
- Correct Breathing Exercises – 5- 10 minutes three times a day
- Mediation – daily throughout the day (I use the Headspace app)
- Positive self-talk -I repeat affirmations out loud and in my head, and listen to You’re The Best Around throughout the day
- Do Gratitude – throughout the day I do gratitude (feel it, not just say it or write it) and how I’m blessed for everything I have
- Journaling– I don’t do this everyday, but I’m making it a practice: I’ve found keeping a journal very therapeutic, and it has strengthened my self-discipline, and improved my self esteem, mindfulness and focus among many other benefits.
- Penmanship – increased skill set; sense of achievement; character building; stress relief
- Learning a second language – increased skill set; sense of achievement; character building; improved memory; stress relief
The other things I’m doing, and by far the most important in my opinion, are scheduling monthly deloads and re-framing and re-shaping the way I think about my training. For example, rather than say ‘weight loss’ I instead use the phrase ‘regain optimum health.’
This comes from Tony Robbins mindset training where you focus on what you will gain as opposed to what you will lose.
Tony says the main reason many people struggle with their ‘weight loss’ journey is because of that very reason – they focus too much on the negative term ‘loss,’ or what they will lose rather than gain.
I agree with him. I have no doubts this is why I have gone up and down with my weight since my mid to late twenties.
If you think it, it’s a dream. If you envision it, it’s a possibility; if you schedule it, it’s real – Tony Robbins.
Another reason I am making awesome gains is because I have written what I will gain and regain and scheduled each stage of my journey:
- I started at XYZ Kilos
- By June 30 I am XY Kilos
- By December 31 I am X Kilos
I have also described in detail:
- How amazing I look and feel
- How people around me are celebrating my success
- How people I don’t know are paying me compliments
- How I can do more and be more
My Manly Recipe For A Healthy Body
- Breakfast: A glass of water first thing, two eggs, boiled or fried with bacon and avocado on wholemeal toast.
- Lunch: Shredded chicken breast, or turkey wholemeal sandwich, with cucumber, tomato, spinach, and avocado.
- Dinner: Beef, lamb, chicken stir-fry, or pan-fried fish with a spinach, kale, and avocado salad.
- My snacks throughout the day included turmeric juices, bananas, and green smoothies.
A note: I am not bound by this diet and change it up once in awhile. I also make sure I schedule in a treat meal once a week.
- Self-defense training – 2 to 3 times a week for an hour
- Wood chopping – once a week for 10-20 minutes
- Bush walking/hiking – whenever I can
- Man Makers – as many as I can in 10 minutes once or twice a week
I have saved cold showers to last because, apart from martial arts training, and being one of the most manly things a man can do, they have had the most impact on both my mental and physical journey, including, but not limited to:
- Better sleep
- Faster recovery from strenuous exercise
- Stronger immune system
- Healthier appearance
- More energy throughout the day
- Increased testosterone levels
- Increased productivity
Medical Daily lists the benefits of a having cold shower and how it aids in gaining/regaining optimum health thus:
“Cold showers can aid [this] in an unexpected way. The human body contains two types of fat tissue,white fat and brown fat. White fat is accumulated when we consume more calories than our body needs to function, and we don’t burn these calories for energy. This body fat piles up at our waist, lower back, neck, and thighs, and is the one we all struggle to eliminate. Brown fat is the good fat, which generates heat to keep our bodies warm, and is activated when exposed to extreme cold, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. Thus, cold showers can promote brown fat activity.”
Another study found that “exposure to extreme cold temperatures activated brown fat in 23 and 24 participants by a 15-fold increase, meaning someone could lose up to nine pounds in a year if they kept this practice up.”
So there you have it. A healthy mind and healthy body only requires traditional and non-traditional manly activities, mixing things up, applying patience and perseverance, having cold showers, scheduled rest periods, and re-framing the way you think and approach your weight and lifestyle goals.
As always thanks for reading.
Note: Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program.