Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Walk (or Run) 8 sets of Stairs per Day

I work in a three storey building. To get to the front door, one has to go up two sets of stairs. Inside is an elevator for those less mobile.

To get to my office on the top floor, I need to climb another six sets of stairs. That means, yep, you guessed it, I have to go up a total of 8 sets of stairs to get to my office every morning.

Still nursing a badly torn hamstring (end-of-ball-season injury), I have to take the first few sets carefully but I've got enough spring in my step to get up there at a good clip. Every now and then I succumb to the temptation of taking the elevator and I regret it almost as quickly as the doors shut. It's a waste of electricity and it does me no good at all.

On the grand scale, 8 sets of stairs per day really isn't that much. But for some less mobile folks, it's nearly (or completely) impossible to negotiate. If you're not one of those people, go on... try a set. Go slow at first. Careful not to pull anything or go too fast. Get up and get climbing. You'll feel a whole lot better.

Lose the elevator... Lose the escalator... Bring a bottle of water and take an extra set every day. You'll be surprised how wonderful an exercise it really is.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Eat 8 different kinds of food every day (chances are, some of them will be healthy).

It's a matter of odds. If you try to eat 8 different things every day, at least your day's intake won't consist of only chips and pop tarts and, well, more chips.

Don't sleep any more or any less than 8 hours per day.

Preferably, those 8 hours should come during one sleep during the overnight hours.
Shift-workers should try their best to have a pitch-black, sound-proofed room to sleep in.
Sleeps of less than 8 hours can be supplemented by one 1-hour nap in the afternoon.

Drink 8 glasses of water or pure juices or 1% milk per day.

Eight glasses of water is just boring but if you combine juice and milk in that number, you can mix it up and get a lot of healthy liquids into you and, believe it or not, you'll actually need those unhealthy drinks a heck of a lot less.

Speaking of drinking, here's a zinger... drink 8 glasses of red wine per week. One per day and two (yippee!) on Sunday! My favourites are the Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignon from Southern Ontario wineries.

While we're at it... Don't get drunk more than 8 times per year.

And finally, once you are drunk, there are probably 8 other means by which you can get home rather than attempting to drive yourself. Don't drink and drive.

Don't work more than 8 hours per day (on average over a week).

That's a tough one and I sympathise with those who have no say in the matter.

Exercise 8 times per week.

Wow... now that's a tough one. Most of us don't even exercise once a week... So how the heck will we manage this? Simple! Got kids? Have you rolled around wrestling or in a tickle fight recently? That counts! Walked the dog lately? That counts. We're not out to look like Arnold (or Demi Moore for the ladies), we're just finding an easy way to live a healthier lifestyle.

Start with 8 minutes a day, twice on Sunday.

Work your way up from there. So long as you never drop back down below 8 times 8, you'll be better off than sitting on your couch.

Don't smoke more than 8 cigarettes per day.

Preferably, don't smoke at all. If you must smoke, then do it but limit yourself to 8 per day and do not use substitutes such as:
  • patches,
  • drugs (of any sort),
  • gum (chewing or nicotene),
  • cigars,
  • pipes,
  • junk food, or
  • drugs (of any sort).

Did I mention "don't do drugs of any sort"?.

If you must smoke, don't smoke:
  • in your car,
  • in your house,
  • around children (anyone's),
  • anywhere it might be prohibited,
  • anywhere it might be convenient (this will help you limit your numbers).

Always eat breakfast before 8 AM and eat dinner before 8 PM.

Again here this is entirely governed by the career you have. If you work the night shift, well, I guess you should switch the AM with the PM.

And if you're the type that likes steak for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, then march to the beat of that drum.

The point of this is to spread out your meals. It's easy get "too busy to eat" and then try to stuff three meals into one to compensate. And, on days when you get home late, eating a full meal just before bed.

Why spread out our meals? Our bodies don't work like cars. You can't fill up once and not eat for a week. We're more like those solar powered calculators. The second the power source is gone, it starts to fade... quickly.

Have 8 great people in your life.

Always have 8 people in your life that you can call "close" (friends or family, doesn't matter). If you don't have anyone, then my challenging you to find 8 people should be a relief cause, really, when people say "You should go out and meet people... make some friends." they don't specify a number, do they?

Stick drawing of me and two good friends.

Having 8 people in your life gives you pretty good odds one of them will be by the phone when you need them. (Edit: In reading this 7 years after I first wrote it, I giggled. Tell me... who isn't by their phone any more? Let's change this to be "...pretty good odds one of them will spot your text among their social media feeds." Yup, that sounds more appropriate.)

If you have "way more" than 8, ask yourself, how many of those are truly close. If your answer is higher than 8, you are rich beyond your dreams.

I hope you know that.