High Intensity Interval Training, My One Month Observations

I have been reading a lot about exercise lately. I joined a gym, and had an hour with an instructor. The hour turned out to be more of a sales pitch than anything else, but there may be a few seeds of knowledge in what I heard. The instructor holds a Masters Degree in Human Physiology, so I believe most of what he said. He lost me at the $400.00 per month trainer cost to get me looking like an American Ninja competitor in six months. I thought six months was too quick, maybe if he said seven months I would have signed up….

Between, the instructor, books and the web, I have learned exercise has changed a lot over the years. Smarter exercise is better exercise. Longer exercise times are not always smarter or better. Science seems to show almost everyone can get themselves in reasonable physical condition in as little as thirty minutes a week, as quickly as a few months.

The idea of High Intensity Interval Training is simple, once it is understood. It seems our bodies may not made for trotting all day alongside a herd of Antelope waiting for our chance to strike. The newer exercise science seems to declare we are made for reasonable movement mixed with all out spurts of action or movement mixed in.

Translated into something I understand, all out spurts of action means as little as one minute of cycling, running, swimming, cross country skiing, or performing any total body activity at the fastest possible speed. This all out action is repeated three times after warmup, with intervals of slower or recovery movement in between the all out portions.

Here is my plan using the ideas from High Intensity Interval Training:

1. Warm up. Perhaps a minute of jumping jacks followed by two minutes of walking, or simply walking about three minutes at a moderate pace.

2. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running all out for a full minute.

3. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

4. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

5. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

6. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

7. Slow to a walk for final recovery.

Exercise and feel younger, Exercise and feel better

I started using this High Intensity Interval Training exercise idea about a month ago, I could only run my fastest for about ten seconds. Muscles in my hips and upper thigh complained loudly and painfully. I thought at first I would not be able to do this as the pain was so quick and pronounced.

The pain remained for some days. The exercise reward seemed non-existent. I went through my cycles with a goal of this exercise plan every other day, or three times a week.

It is now a month or so later, and I am up to all out running all out for about thirty to forty seconds. No pain. My Recovery Walk lasts two to four minutes instead of ten or twelve. High Intensity Interval Training has a lot going for it after all. I confess I am a converted skeptic about High Intensity Interval Training.

As a baseline, I want to mention, I walk a lot. When the weather and other things cooperate, I walk somewhere around 15 miles or more a week. Running however is a whole different animal.

I do not remember having as much as jogged in the last twenty years. After 40, running was thought to cause joint problems. Initially running was where my major pain came from. I discovered I had several smaller unused or little used muscles around my lower hips and  hip joint.

Which brings me to something the instructor salesman told me which may or may not be true. As we sail past about fifty years of age, we become much more efficient at the things we do. If we are going to get up, we do two or more things because we are up.

Our body also starts to quit using non essential muscles, and even some muscles that are useful, but not mandatory in our lifestyle. Muscles start to deteriorate because we do not use them.

Setting my skepticism aside, I am sold on High Intensity Interval Training as the most productive use of limited exercise time. If you are like me and have not moved faster than a fast walk for some years, you may want to buy a bottle of your preferred pain reliever first.

Of course always check with your doctor, and read what you can find about High Intensity Interval Training to determine if this is the right exercise for you. I find I enjoy High Intensity Interval Training and the gains are fast – once the pain goes away.

Teen Thinking Help

I remember being a Teenager. I had more energy than brains. My thought to action process took place in seconds. If it looks like fun, do it. This was about all there was to my thinking. I thought it was just me but over the years I noticed it wasn’t just me. It is how a normal male and possibly female Teenage Brain works – little thought, lots of action.

I was luckier than most. I grew up in a rural area. There wasn’t a lot to destroy, or get into trouble over. I am not sure how I would have fared if I had been born and raised in a city, like where I live now. The Teenage brain has not changed, only mine has as I have aged. The Teen brain has two states, on and off.

There is a group in Chicago which is teaching Teens about pausing and thinking before acting. How to create a decision making process instead of reacting. Since it was started, violent crime, and especially murder rate has dropped dramatically in the the Teen age group where the program is active.

The program is named BAM, an acronym for Becoming a Man. The main purpose of the program is to teach teens to think slower, and not act on impulse. The program shows a lot of success in just teaching at risk teens to pause and think for about thirty seconds before acting.

This gives a Teen and his brain a chance to think before acting. Is the argument worth fighting, going to prison, or dying for? The short pause the BAM program teaches, is saving lives, and keeping otherwise good kids out of the prison system.

This is a concept that every parent should be teaching their kids starting before the teen years kick in. Here is an example of Teen no Think in action.

Teens act on impulse first, and think about results later.

















The picture above is of is a plastic bag dispensing container placed along walking path. The bags are there for dog walkers using the walking path to pick up and dispose of their dog’s droppings. There is a trash can for dog dropping disposal close by. Before these dispensers were put up along the walking path, it was no fun walking. There were piles of dog droppings about every three feet, and it stank – bad!

Notice the bags are yanked out and pulled around? This was done by a bored Teen acting on impulse. I am sure how the thought entered his mind, and he started yanking bags as soon as he reached the dispenser. I am sure it felt good too. It filled the need to do something.

Now if the the Teen Boy let himself think twenty or thirty seconds about this action before starting, he would have come to a better decision: People use these bags to clean up their Dog’s droppings. If I pull this apart there will be fewer bags available. That would mean more stinky dog droppings on the walking path. This is a stupid idea.

Obviously, the Teen Boy never thought about what he was going to do, he simply did it. I know now after he has had to think about it he feels really silly. I am sure it is not something he is telling his friends about. Thinking thirty seconds before acting is something everyone, not just Teens should practice. It saves lives, and makes life better for everyone.


Of Course NFL Coaches Are Scared of Their Players

Of course NFL Coaches are scared of what their Players will do if they are not not happy.

Top Players could leave the team, crippling the team

Top Players could not play their A game, every moment of the game

Team morale may fall, and Top Players have a lot to do with team morale

Team support by sponsor’s may dwindle as team starts playing less than their best

Fans quit showing up at the stadium, hurting sales of seats and concessions, and overall revenue

Of course NFL Sponsors are busy wrapping themselves in the American Flag. Each sponsor has it’s own reasons why they stand out from the crowd, both supporting American Soldiers and America’s right to protest. Kind of covers all the bases for NFL Sponsors? How nice.

Fans go to games for various reasons. Some of them are:

Entertainment, getting away from pressures of life, relax and support their home team. Do Fans really want politics played out on the field before them?

Players in the NFL are paid to play. They have several other means available to make a difference, including, “putting their money where their knee is”, to protest and draw media attention to their cause.

NFL Players are not the practically penniless Olympians on the podium in 1968, who were forced to share a pair of gloves in a, “Black Power Salute“,  because that is all they had. Those guys were not only putting their Olympic appearance on the line, they put their future on the line, and paid a hefty price in the doing.

John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Peter Norman 1968cr

As I presume you know about working for a living, do you know what your right to free speech is in your workplace? In case you are not aware, your freedom of speech is very limited at work. If you live in the United States, your employer has the right to loosely determine what type of speech is allowed and what type of speech is banned.

We can only imagine then, that in the NFL, and specifically at the Team level, this type of “speech” is not only allowed, but encouraged(?), out of subtle fear of players – who may or may not realize they hold power over their Coaches and Team Owners?

Who are the losers in this controversy taking place? Fans mostly. Everyone else who doesn’t follow football, or sports in general are a close second.

It is time to remember that serious change takes place slowly, and mainly takes place when one generation dies off and a younger generation replaces it.

Some times and people to think about courtesy of Wikipedia:

1865 – Slavery abolished in the United Sates by the 13’th Amendment – About 150 years ago.

1874 – Mary Ellen Wilson – Hell’s Kitchen. The first court case for the protection of a child. The case was defended using, “Cruelty to Animals” laws.

1918 – Women’s right to vote – Granted by the 18’th amendment, by one single vote.

1947 – Jack Roosevelt Robinson – First African American drafted into Major League Baseball.

1956 – Althea Gibson – First African American to cross the color barrier in tennis. Althea Gibson won the Grand Slam title in 1956.

1965 – Voting Rights Act of 1965 – Right to vote for “All Americans” – provided federal oversight of elections in discriminatory jurisdictions, banned literacy tests and similar discriminatory devices, and created legal remedies for people affected by voting discrimination – mostly African American and other minorities.

1967 – Charles Luther Sifford – First African American to play on the PGA.

1970 – Carl Maxie Brashear – First African American to become a U.S. Navy Master Diver, despite having an amputated left leg.

1983 – Guion Bluford – First African American in space. Col. Bluford went on for a total of four shuttle flights into space.

2009 – Barrack Obama – First African American President, Mr. Obama served two terms.

These people are some real African American Heroes. They did a lot more, and put a lot more on the line than than drop to one knee during the National Anthem at a football game. They put themselves on the line advancing the cause of all African Americans, breaking down numerous barriers in the process.

All these events and the people in them took place in 144 years. Personally I think this is amazing progress, for the country. Some people alive today have real and implanted memories of family members who were slaves or Klan members in the1800’s. Many people alive today have either been or know someone who was a victim of a senseless racially motivated crime. One does not have to look very hard to find an example.

What will happen in another 144 years, with barely two more generates come and gone? I hope as much as has happened in the last 150 plus years. Change doesn’t happen over night. If people want real change, they are going to have to work for it, not protest at a sports arena before a game.

Crime Reduction, Crime solution, Crime out of Control

I find the excerpt (below) interesting in that it fits what is happening here. We have a crime problem that feels out of control. Police are working overtime in an attempt to reign in crime. Courts cannot keep up with arrests, and jails are over full.

People want Police to be more active, work more overtime, prevent crime, and arrest more people. In the mean time, arrested suspect criminals enjoy having their cases dropped because courts are overloaded. For those who are incarcerated, other criminals are being let out of jail as they are not “violent enough” as there are not enough cells for everyone.

I thought until I read this excerpt, Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Phoenix area had it right. Make jail time so miserable that no-one will wish to go to jail a second time. No doubt Sheriff Arpio’s  jail kept repeat offenders from offending again, or at least they became smarter about committing crime.

Maybe there is a way to manage crime and criminals better? I know Detroit, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois to name a few cities, are having major crime issues of their with no hope of crime reduction on the horizon. Honest work is a better solution, but jobs are needed for people to have honest work that is both meaningful and supports their families.

What out of control crime feels like. Its hard to remember that criminals are human.


Below is what I read. I hope the excerpt has merits for you and your city if you are suffering these same issues. I know Detroit, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois are having serious crime issues with no hope of reducing crime on the horizon. Maybe this excerpt will help city officials make more informed decisions.

I did not use quotes for the excerpted text; I have no claim to typing and transcribing skills and may have misquoted the original text.


Economics of Social Issues, Twenty-First Edition, Charles A. Register & Paul W. Grimes, Authors, McGraw Hill publisher

Page 124

Paragraph 3: ‘…equimarginal principle. The crime budget should be allocated among police, courts, and corrections so the last dollar spent on any facet yields the the same addition to the benefits of crime prevention as the last dollar spent on the others….’

Paragraph 4:

‘As an example, suppose the crime prevention system is relatively over-loaded in the area of detection and apprehension. The courts cannot handle all those being arrested, so many of them must be set free without trial, or in the case of plea bargaining, sentenced for a lesser crime than the one committed. The mere fact of arrest will have some crime-deterring effects, but the deterrent effect will be much less than it would be were there adequate court facilities to try the persons apprehended. The contribution of crime prevention of an additional dollar’s worth of police activity at this point is low. On the other hand, an expansion of court facilities would increase the likelihood of speedy trail and conviction of those apprehended. We would expect crime-deterring effect of a dollar’s worth of such an expansion to be greater than that of a dollar spent on detection, apprehension, and subsequent freeing of those apprehended. Suppose that taking $1 away from police work brings about enough of a crime increase to cause a 75-cent loss in GDP to society. Now suppose that court activity is increased by $1, and the increased activity deters criminal activity enough to make society better off by $3. Under these circumstances, society will experience a net gain of $2.25 in GDP by a transfer from police activities to court activities. Such net gains are possible for any dollar transfer among police activities, and corrections activities when the marginal social benefit of $1 spent on any one activity equal the marginal social benefit of $1 spent on any one of the other activities.’

Only Winning Matters

I was wandering the Internet, looking for something which wasn’t too important as I have forgotten what I was looking for. While looking, I came across a blog post written by Dan Waldschmidt.

Dan reads very aggressive in and with his life judging by this post. I was struck by the stark contrast between Dan’s life and my own using this post as the focus. Well, mainly the last lines of this post. I wonder if Dan’s thinking for this post is to get us to take responsibility for what does or does not happen in our own life, or only about winning?

“….I say these each day — sometimes several times each day — because I play to win each day.

And I don’t have moments to waste doing things that don’t work.

I want to win.”

What caught my attention is the last phrase, “I want to win”. This phrase stood out because we all, “want to win“. For the ultra competitive however winning is usually most important.

Is always wining, no matter who loses really that important?

Several thoughts entered my mind. Take a moment and see where you line up with Dan’s well targeted, motivational post.

How much do you want to win, and what or who who are you willing to sacrifice to win? Is winning at any cost worth it, all the time, in every situation? What about the people who, “lose” if you win? Do they matter? Do they ever have a chance to win?

Should other people ever be allowed to win if it means you lose? What is the purpose of driving so hard to win?

What are you really winning? Do you need money, self esteem, power?

As these thoughts rolled through my mind, I knew Dan’s post was not for me. I don’t need to drive myself to win for the sake of winning. I do not get satisfaction beating someone else at something, especially when I know they lost before they even began.

I have everything I need and want. The way I see it, in less than a hundred years, which sounds like a long time, but really isn’t, we are born, grow up, grow old, and die. If we are lucky, we die in our old age.

Really, what is there to win in the end, a more expensive funeral?

Purpose of Business is Profit

This is a business story. There are lessons to be learned here, more than about what is and is not the scope of any business.

I had a friend who had quite a good understanding of business, even though he had never gone beyond a high school education. I guess, he was a natural to some extent. I was thinking of him the other day, and something that happened in a little out of way tavern in the middle of nowhere several years ago.

It was about this time of year. The two of us had been traveling for a number of hours for a business purchase. We completed our business and were on the return trip. We were both tired and hungry. As we drove along some back road, a well kept tavern appeared on the side of the road.

We decided it was time to stop and rest. While there we would have some food and coffee, getting rested for the remainder of the trip. The building was very nice for being so far from anywhere.

The walls were paneled wood, and well oiled. The lighting was soft, but no overly so. The only employee present, the bartender, turned out to be the owner. He had owned the place for some years, and he prided himself on everything about his business from the building that housed it, to the paper napkins we would use during our meal.

The food was of course excellent. Nothing fancy, way better than the standard out of the way back country bar usually provides. I remember I had a cheeseburger. It was fresh and cooked to perfection with grilled onions, and cheddar cheese. I can still taste the burger when I think about it. The home made steak fries and coleslaw that came with my burger were also fresh, and very good.

When we finished eating, we asked if there was coffee. The bartender said there was, and it would take a few minutes to make if we would wait. Of course we would wait, the thought of coffee promised to be every bit as good as the meal we finished.

Coffee arrived a few minutes later, and it was very good. Not too strong, not overly hot, not bitter. As with the rest of the meal and surroundings, it was more than we expected.

Unusual however were the cups the coffee was served in. Not elegant, but certainly not run of the mill. They were very tasteful and unique glass coffee mugs. I had never seen anything like them before, and neither had my friend. He wasn’t sure what was better the coffee or the mugs the coffee was served in.

What is the true purpose of Business?

Purpose of business is profit

As we sipped our coffee and discussed the trip, my friend told me how much he would like to have four of these coffee mugs we were holding in our hands. The more he thought about it, the more he wanted four of them.

The bartender/owner came to the table asking if we would like a refill on the coffee. My friend told the man how much he liked the mugs, and could he buy four of them? He was willing to pay a reasonable price.

The bartender/owner remained quiet, and thought for a few seconds. He then told my friend, the mugs were unique to the business, and he purchased them through one of his suppliers. He continued he didn’t have any extra mugs he would sell.

I don’t know if was from being tired, or my friend wanted four mugs so dearly, but after listening he said, ”Would you rather sell me four mugs or would you prefer I stole them?”

I don’t know who was more shocked the bartender/owner or myself. My friend was was as honest as the day was long. I couldn’t believe what I just heard!

The bartender/owner was also quite taken aback, and I could tell from his expression he was on the brink of asking us to pay our bill and leave right now. Before he could continue that thought, my friend broke the silence.

He said, the building was exceptional, the food just as good, and the glass coffee mugs were indeed unique. However was it possible, more mugs could be purchased to replace the four mugs he wanted to buy?

I thought in this moment was to be had a brilliant business lesson. Here is a business owner, who is in business to make a living. Up until this moment he was doing this by operating a tavern and feeding his customers in a pleasant atmosphere. He took pride in everything about his business.

The bartender/owner walked away without saying anything more. I thought in the moment we had overstayed our welcome, and we were going to be asked to leave. He went into a back room for a minute or so, came out and beckoned my friend to the bar.

My friend went to the bar, and they conversed for a minute or so. Some money exchanged hands, and my friend walked back to the table with his four coffee mugs well wrapped and packaged.

The point to all this is what is the business of business? Up to that moment, the tavern owner never dreamed he would be selling his coffee mugs. My friend was obviously not driving across country in search of the lost mug. Yet business had been conducted, a surprise to both parties involved in the transaction with myself more surprised than both of them.

Business does not come naturally to me as it did for my friend. To the detriment of my bottom line, I may have asked us to leave, before I thought through all my options. If you own and operate a business, are you open to all avenues of income your business can generate? If you were the owner of the tavern, what would you have done?

Cracked Skin Relief is Cheap and Effective

I have had problems with cracking skin for a long time. Cracked skin comes on with the dry fall weather and comes and goes over the winter until spring. Cracked skin hurts. Cracked skin hurts more when it becomes infected.

It is not a strong pain. Just a reminder every time you step or pick up something that your skin is cracked. Many people have said the obvious. Use lotion. While lotion helps, lotion does not seem to be any kind of fix. I have also been told to wear plastic gloves. Again not a good solution.

The main problem with cracking skin is thick dry skin I have found. Especially around my heels. The skin gets thick from the summer weather when I tend to go barefoot more often. Also my hand skin sometimes cracks. Usually it is on the tip of my finger on either side of my finger nail. Occasionally a crack will show up on the edge of my hand.

The best fix I know for fall and winter cracking skin

The best fix I know for fall and winter cracking skin

After so many years of trial and error, I still do not have a good method in place to prevent my skin from cracking. I have however found a method that helps. When my skin now cracks, I found I can heal my cracking skin faster than normal. This method heals up a skin crack in the fastest possible way. I will share it with you so you can try it out too.

Cracking skin left alone, because it is only an irritant and not real pain often becomes infected. Then a mild irritant becomes a major pain. Then we wish we would have done something about it before the skin cracked.

For feet and hands where the skin is thick, I find a nail file works very well. Often just filing away the dead skin keeps the skin from cracking. I also found an item that acts as a skin rasp collecting the shaved skin for deposit rather than letting the skin fall to the floor.

A nail file works well on its own. Just put a sheet of paper under the area you are going to file to catch the skin dust. The more aggressive the nail file the faster the dead skin build up is removed. I have found the nail file tends to leave live skin alone.

When my skin cracks anyway, I have found a simple solution. Hydrogen Peroxide and lotion that coats the skin, although any lotion will work. Using a few drops hydrogen peroxide on the cracked skin area disinfects the cracked skin. Infected skin does not heal well.

After a few applications of hydrogen peroxide dry the cracked area. I have found toilet paper works fine. Hydrogen Peroxide is like bleach and will bleach a colored cloth, so unless it is scrap material, cloth is not a good choice.

After the cracked area is dry, apply a drop or two of lotion. Some lotions work better than others, although even olive oil will suffice if lotion is not an option. Allow the lotion time to dry.

I have found cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and coating with lotion three times a day promotes the fastest healing. As the cracked skin heals, dead skin around the crack should be removed daily by filing or sanding. This promotes the healing process and allows the skin to mend quickly.

The most effective deterrent to cracking skin I have found is the nail file or skin rasp. Skin that is supple and not covered with callous is much less likely to crack than thick dry calloused skin that is being forced to flex.

This is the best method for managing winter skin cracks I have found. If you have fall and winter cracking skin, I hope my method helps you.

Get Paid to Overcome Your Shyness

If you are shy by nature and want to be more outgoing, an easy way to get there is by working somewhere where you are forced to speak with strangers. Customers come with all types of personalities and temperaments. If you go out and find a job where you are forced to interact with the public, you will become less shy be default.

You will be forced to interact, discuss, persuade, and listen to and resolve complaints. In the interim you will learn how to easily carry on your end of the conversation. Not so obvious you will learn other speaking skills too.

You will learn how and when it is okay to control conversation. How to encourage or discourage conversation with your posture and expression. You will learn confidence because you will learn that some people are just like you, and others are different than you. Generally you will learn that you can hold your own with almost any person, and there is no reason to be shy anymore.

Half of us are shy by nature. You can get paid to learn to not be shy.

Half of us are shy by nature. You can get paid to learn to not be shy.

Once you realize you don’t need to be shy as in quiet, your world can change. You can become more outgoing in your personal life. You can control the ebb and flow of conversation. You will have learned what attracts and what turns off different personality types.

Get a job in fast food perhaps, and you will learn the skills to become the verbal master of your own ship!

Fear Monger No More

I think sharing a smile with a stranger is something most of us have been conditioned out of doing.

When we are little we had to watch out for the Man offering us candy.

As we grew older, we learned to be scared of looking at a stranger because they were probably crazy, a molester, a rapist, or a general purpose maniac.

As we get even older, we see robbers and murderers in every other person, even our neighbors.

We have been conditioned to fear strangers almost since we were old enough to talk.

Our world would be a much friendlier place, if we realize we do not need to live a fear based life.

Once each day smile at a stranger like you mean it, and say, “Good day”. You might even save someone with your smile. More has been done with less.

Smiles are free and make the world a warmer place to be

Smiles are free and make the world a warmer place to be


Working With the Hill

Seen from the top, this path looks like a mild climb. Seen from the bottom, it is steeper than it looks. So how best do we climb the hill? We have three real choices.

1. We can run up the hill as fast as we can, and hope we don’t out of energy and breath before we make the top.

2. We can walk very slowly up the hill, which is not optimal, but it gets us to the top.

3. We can let the gill set the pace, moving faster and slower as the trail allows.

How we climb the hill is as important as getting to the top of the hill

How we climb the hill is as important as getting to the top of the hill

Life is the same as the hill. How we approach each day and the hills that come with each day is a measure of our personal success.

We don’t want to run as fast as we can, running out of energy before the day is done. We don’t wish to plod along wasting time on pointless tasks if we do not need to.

We want to speed up and slow down paying attention to the path up the hill, so we climb over the top with enough left to enjoy the view.

Letting yourself work with the hill, instead of fighting the hill and you will find the hills grow smaller and less frequent.