Kindness, Selflessness, Altruism... high concepts that are touted in self help books, on the big screen, and of course in all manner of religious dogma. It is said that you should 'treat others like you would like to be treated'. So is this kindness to others really just a "bank" that we get to fill to hold our own self esteem at a certain level? Or is there really something to actually being KIND to others? What do acts of Altruism do for our health? Im interested and today will dig in on the concepts that surround the Kindness to others.
To begin this conversation and to open our minds to the concepts I will be presenting I need you to be honest with yourself. if we are to take the concept of kindness and love to the next level and open our consciousness to something bigger we need to realize that the status quo which dominates our daily lives MAY NOT BE the most optimal state of being! I know that I am perfectly cornered here, harboring ill thoughts, not going out of my way to help others.... hell I sometimes avoid contact with others all together because of a number of reasons. Being honest is the first step in developing a greater love for others and a boost in our own health.
Being Kind Reduces Inflammation
To sustain optimal health, science has shown the we need to decrease inflammation. Inflammation is a reaction of our cells and tissues to stresses placed upon the system. Inflammation is a precursor to practically every long term disease including cancer and alzheimers. The purpose of this blog post today came from a STUDY which I found in researching the long term effects of social and physical activity as we age. The study tested a inflammation marker amongst retirees who were active in their communities, helping others, and volunteering. It turns out that that kindness has a positive effect on your overall stress levels through the production of Oxytocin. Your brain produces this hormone particularly during events of social interaction like helping others, having sex and giving someone a hug. Oxytocin decreases anxiety and increases empathy towards others! What a beautiful thing, our bodies ability to create a hormone that binds us together and keeps us healthy.
It is tough to deny the effect of altruism once you have felt the effects on your body. In fact many people crave the feeling that they turn to drugs to find it. MDMA is frequently used to dump oxytocin into the body to enhance the feeling of connectedness and peace. What most kids that take this stuff dont realize is that they can get the same high by being kind to perfect strangers.
Selflessness is good for your Heart
A smile a day can keep the doctor away when I comes to performing selfless acts of kindness. As athletes we all know the effects of blood pressure and our hearts right? Why do you think you have to run to the bathroom before the workout begins, why you feel like you are going to die when you go out to hard when the clock starts running... IT all has to do with your blood pressure and the state of your cardiovascular system. Your blood pressure is one important marker when looking at your heart and associated plumbing. Kindness, it seems, can help you lower your blood pressure and decrease your chances of heart related diseases.
Nitric Oxide production is a byproduct of Oxytocin moving through your body. As we have already learned, going out of your way to be kind to others (especially those who you do not know) produces an effect on your body wherein hormones are released. Nitric oxide production increases vasodilation which is an opening of your blood vessels to allow for more blood to flow. My aforementioned events of the pre workout poops or a faint feeling if you go out to hard are direct results of high blood pressure. So maybe, instead of reaching for your Pre-Workout beverage, maybe you should walk around and hug everyone in the class instead! This will work to calm you down, prepare your mind and develop a greater sense of community. Additionally, it is 100% better for you than a pre workout drink !!
Want to be Kind? Listen to your GUT
Did you know that you have Billions and Billions of bacteria living inside you right now? Each of us has a specific menu of these bacteria which is unique to us alone. Like our DNA, this bacterial make up determines how we live, act, and love. The reason is that your GUT, the epicenter of all the happenings in your body, controls the production and regulation of SEROTONIN. This powerful hormone performs vital functions in the body and acts on your overall levels of anxiety and depression in the same way that Oxytocin does. The more serotonin your body is producing, the better quality of life you will have. Eating Whole Foods that are fresh, and produce healing effects on the lining of your GUT are optimal for creating an environment where the nerve cells can produce serotonin. The feeling of contentment that you feel after eating well or going a whole day drinking plenty of water is no lie, that is your body saying thank you with a big dose of Serotonin.
Kindness to ourselves must precede anything. Loving ourselves through activity, nutrition, and conscious thought creates a scenario wherein we become a rock of confidence able to spread love outwardly. But it all must come from us first, and your GUT plays a big part in that. Outward acts of altruism and living a life optimized by service to others and the world around us is the goal right?
The time is upon us to look inward to find happiness and truly our biology is designed to produce happiness through acts of kindness. Try little experiments for yourself. Do them in places where you are not usually doing them. A big teaching that I got from this research is that the more random the kindness is, the more benefit you can get from it. And be honest with yourself. As I said before, diving deeper into our consciousness and transcending is about breaking through what we take as 'good enough' and striving for more.
Its all lining up, the biology is there, the world is right in front of us, go out and kindness the shit out of this week. I will be right here to support you all along this path.
Programming Notes 4/23-4/27
Spend 5 minutes Rolling out Lats, sub scapula, and chest.
8 Plank Walk Outs
10 Elbow TO instep Lunges + Reach
:30 KB Overhead Hold (each arm)
12 Deadbug Contra Lateral Reach
Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Roll Outs, Boot Straps, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Rotation
4@ 215/ 110
*these weights are calculated off a 250/150 max OHS.
Scale down the weights as needed, but your top end should be around 90% of your OHS.
30 Pull Ups
50 Medicine Ball Cleans
30 Pull Ups
Kettlebell Toe Touches
Kettlebell Good Mornings (KB Held behind the back, on your butt, both hands on handle)
Kettlebell Bent Over row
Kettlebell Side Lunges
Muscle Up Prep:
:20 Ring Support Top
5X Muscle Up Negatives (begin form top support and work eccentric)
:20 Ring Support Bottom
5X Hip Bridge + Transition to ring support bottom (pop the hip and pull through)
:20 leg assisted Muscle Ups (can be jumping or hip bridge iterations)
A- 2-5 Muscle Ups OR 5-8 Ring Dips
B- 12 Hand Release Push Ups
Burpee Onto Plate
Toes To Bar
Kettlebell Swing 53/35
*12 minute Time Cap, this should be fast
Banded Shoulder work
side Plank Hold 1:00 Each side
5:00 Easy Bike
Planked Knee To Elbow
wall Press (back to wall, elbows to wall , wrists to wall, then press to full extension without butt leaving the wall)
*after each set, hold a handstand for :20
Rotator Cuff Drills:
W/ 5# Plates X 7 Reps each
-bent over scarecrow + External Rotation
-bent over Reverse Flys
-bent over scarecrow + Press
- Standing, arms extended out, Corkscrew rotations
- Standing Wide Shoulder Presses
-Standing Narrow Crossover shoulder presses
*last set of 10 should be same weight as first set of 5
10 Min AMRAP
10 Dumbbells Clean and Press (2@ 35/20)
50’ Overhead Walking Lunges
using 2 cones 50’ apart
-marching high kicks
-elbow to instep lunges
-lateral high knees
-feet together bounding side to side
-sprint line touch + Backpedal
Spend 3 minutes
-down dog + calf march
Gymnastic Skill Development:
:30 L Sit Hold
:30 tempo Pistol Squats (focus on the eccentric lowering under control)
*use a box to scale for strength or flexibility
50 Cal Row
50 Box Jump 20” (this is meant to be plyometric jumps, quick!!)
5 Rope Climbs
50 Box Jumps
50 Cal Row
Roll out calves for 5 minutes
Perform 30 KB Side Bends on each side
Agility Warm Up:
-Marching High Kicks
-high knee pulls
-figure 4 drill
-sprint W/ Change of direction
-Bent Over Row
**increasing load each round
-Joshua Harris died August 30,2008 in Afghanistan. He drowned during combat operations.
5 Rounds for Time
30 GHDSU (sub weighted Sit Up)
15 Deadlift 250#