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Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

GreenNote Life

Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Reflections on Body, Mind & Spirit: Toe strength, Mental training, and Shogun

My April Reflection

A theme I keep coming back to is ‘the end game’.  In this context meaning what will we be like as we become mature human beings.  Will there be a stubbornness not realizing how much help one actually needs?  Will we remember the passwords we can’t remember now?  What does the future me (us )look like?  Which brings me to a seemingly easy question that when thoughtfully contemplated holds so much more.

What can we do now to prepare for then?

BODY - Toe strength for fall prevention

With a recent diagnosis of bunion on my right foot, I've paid more attention to my footwear and strengthening of the foot to prevent surgery.  This led me down an eye-opening rabbit hole to discover this fact: the single best predictor of a senior citizen falling is toe strength.

And here I just wanted to learn about bunions...what I got was so much more.  My focus now? Yes, toe strength and feet strength and a new appreciation for ankle and calf strength.  A fantastic interview I watched was with a chiropractic physician specializing in foot and gait mechanics, Dr. Courtney Conley.  "...we're building all of the strength and focusing on everything above the knee when in reality, so much of the absorption force: gait; stance stability; propulsion - all of those things make us capable of becoming efficient with movement."

Since the discovery of bunions and importance of foot strength I'm working on the following:

  • Changing out my shoes for a wider toe-box and a less built up shoe (Dr. Conley discusses this in her interview)

  • Utilizing toe spreaders - we need to be able to spread our toes and lift the big toe independent of the other toes and vice versa. This is called toe yoga.

  • Strength exercises for the feet

The best time to strengthen the feet and toes and to help prevent falling is now. Let's start with proper footwear when we can't be barefoot.

Challenge for you:

Grab your shoes and look at the toe box.  Is it wide or narrow?  Consider overtime changing out your narrow shoes for a wider toe box and gradually work your way to a zero drop shoe.

MIND - Mental training

My reading for mental toughness and mindset continues.  Sports psychologist Stan Beecham has written a fabulous book on how elite performers in athletics and business think, fittingly called, Elite Minds A few nuggets I enjoyed were:

  • Belief matters "What you believe about yourself and your world is the primary determinant of what you do and, ultimately, how well you do it.”

  • Do your best - The goal is not to be perfect.  It's to do your best.  Each and every day, make it your intention to do the very best you can with what you have that day.

  • Contest - Literally means "with" a "promise".  Enter each contest with a promise to do our best.  As Stan says, people who don't make promises make excuses.  Get really good at making and keeping your promises so you won't have to make excuses.

Challenge for you:

Bring awareness to your positivity or negativity.  How can you begin to redirect your thinking? Remember, each and every day, make it your intention to do the very best you can with what you have that day.

SPIRIT - Beauty in art and poetry

This past month I have watched, re-watched, and listened to the supporting podcast to the mini-series, Shogun, based off of the James Clavell novel of the same name.  From the website, set in 1600 Japan, Lord Yoshi Toranaga is fighting for his life as his enemies on the Council of Regents unite against him, when a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village.  

There is duty, honor, life and death.  As the beautiful character, Mariko says of her impending are flowers because they fall...if I could use words like scattering flowers and falling leaves, what a bonfire my poetry would make. Check out the trailer here.

I was captivated by the Japanese culture, rituals, and how much is said in silence.  Made me reflect upon how I am living.  

Challenge for you:

Take some time for yourself to look at a painting, read a poem, or watch the sunset.  Use this to still your mind and heart, then ask yourself, how am I living?

Words I'm pondering...

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." - Khalil Gibran

To your reflection and health,

Lisa Schaffer

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See my last newsletter Body, Mind & Spirit…


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