Two weeks ago, I started my January 2016 journey of using Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! to get towards my goals for this year. The first week was about confronting my past. Last week was about coming up with a plan. This week’s chapters are all about respecting the mind & body.
Chapter 10: Sleep
Over the past month, my sleep has been averaging about 7 hours a night. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been going to sleep later at night. I realized I needed to get back to going to bed at my dedicated time.
So for this task, I need to try to get eight hours of sleep for five nights in a row. My biggest distraction has come from me watching TV late at night. Too much binge watching has occurred since the holiday season.
I will make sure that I’m completely done with watching TV and using electronics 30 minutes before bedtime. This will require an interesting change of pace.
5 Day Result
I averaged 7 hours, 30 minutes of sleep during my five day trail period. I woke up feeling fine and energized. Due to the snow blizzard, I didn’t have to be up early so I slept in. This week I’ll be trying to get the sleep while getting up early.
Chapter 11: Prior To The Workout
My current gym rotation has me going to the gym around 6:30 AM. Once I’m done at the gym, I have the current leisure of being able to go back to my house. For most of my working life I did not have that ability. Any early morning workout would have involved me packing a gym bag the night prior to the workout.
For now I just prepare my gym shorts, shirts, iPod, jacket and sweatpants the night prior. I normally have my gym items stacked in my bathroom so I can easily thrown them on after waking up.
I also have a small backpack that I keep pens, my workout journal and workout chalk for my hands. I do a lot of compound movements, and the chalk is great at helping me with maintain my grip while weightlifting.
Chapter 12: Good vs. Bad Pain
I’m fortunate enough that I currently do not have any major pains in my body. I have a history of chondromalacia patellae every since my teenage years. I always have to be careful and not overdue any activities that require jumping and lots of flexing of my knee joints.
My next two areas of normal concern would be my shoulders and lower back. I typically do stretches for those areas while warming up. Over the past month I will admit that I’ve been slacking in doing my stretches. When I’m doing bodybuilding type routines, I have a habit of not stretching as much as I did when lifting weights for pure strength. I’ll put a stretching back on my warm up priority list.
Chapter 13: Relieve That Stress
One of my main problems while sleeping during the last couple of months has been stress. When going starting a business from scratch, there’s bound to be all types of stress. That has led to some interesting dreams these past couple of months. I have had a habit of waking up after each sleep cycle.
To combat this stress, I’ve started to do mediation. This chapter mentions mediation as one of the great stress relievers out there. For me, it does help deal with my work related stress. I do feel a greater sense of calm while going through my day to day life. I currently do about 10 minutes of mediation during the morning. I plan to slowly increase that over time.
The two stress relievers I need to get back in the habit of doing are bath tub soaks and yoga. I haven’t soaked in a tub in three months. Like the chapter says, it is one of the best stress relievers most of us have in our homes that we easily forget about. A good soak can work miracles for our aches and pains.
Yoga is just plain awesome. I’m currently designing an exercise program for some clients, and I’m making yoga a requirement! I like how this chapter reminded me that I needed to get back doing yoga. My recent workout routines involved lots of strength training, so I’ve been forgetting stress relieving exercises like yoga. I’ll be sure to add it back in during my next rotation. There’s just too much good stuff with yoga for it not be included.
Chapter 14: What’ Up Doc
I haven’t been to a doctor in the last ten months. I’m due for an annual physical. I recently acquired some new health insurance, so I’ll be sure to schedule an appointment. I’m fortunate enough where I’m a pretty healthy person. But it’s still better to be safe than sorry. As long as my knees are not in pain, I’m happy!
These five chapters are very simple. They are so simple, that most of us overlook these basic steps when wanting to get into shape.
Next week will be the section of Release The Beast that deals with your environment. That’s the section of the book that’s unlike any other other out there. Learn how your environment is the key to sustaining your long term plan!