Sometimes my blog post ideas just come to me.
Like I see a hunched-over middle-aged man doing lots of chest exercises and then sloppily, jerkily, goofily performing 3 rows–and I think to myself, “why, this should be a blog post!” (And so it was. Last week. Here.)
Other times, I agonize over no fewer than 7 million possible topics and just can’t decide.
Like over the past week when I learned so many new things that I was susceptible to paralysis by information-overload.
Therefore, today I bring to you…
5 Things I Just Learned
*disclaimer: to keep things light, skip #3.
1. Breathing should nearly always be in and out through the nostrils.
Nose hairs filter the air we breathe, helping to keep sickness out. Every once in a while, it does a person good to exhale deeply through the mouth, but most of the time we should both inhale and exhale through our noses, initiating breath from our diaphragms. Our shoulders should not heave, but our bellies should expand. Also, it’s best to keep the tongue on the roof of the mouth gently against the inside of the front teeth. (This is more efficient than when the tongue is positioned more in the center of the roof of the mouth. Seriously. Try it.)
2. Some sources claim that store-bought orange juice loses its flavor through a process that removes oxygen from the fresh-pressed juice and is then re-flavored using flavor packs.
I won’t profess to have fully vetted these claims, but it certainly doesn’t strike me as difficult to believe. Apparently, juice companies hire flavor and fragrance companies (like the ones that formulate perfumes) to manufacture packs specifically to cater toward the taste preferences of the population to which it will be marketed.
Because these flavor packs are technically derived from orange byproducts, they don’t have to be listed on the ingredients label; however, they contain unnatural amounts and ratios of chemicals such as ethyl butyrate, which lends a candy-orange type of taste for the American audience. As it turns out, “from concentrate” might be a better option due to a decreased need to process for crazy-long shelf life.
But, I mean, I think I’ll just eat an actual orange.
3. I might be tempted to shy away from intervening during a racially-charged confrontation.
I had an incredibly insightful conversation with a friend the other day, which eventually led me to have the horrible realization that I wasn’t 100% sure what I would do if I witnessed a stranger enduring a barrage of blatant, hate-filled racist taunts.
You see, my friend was the victim of such an attack over the weekend. The tone and maliciousness of this particular experience was something to which he was unaccustomed. He had previously been on the receiving end of racial slurs and mockery, but this was different. He could see the hate in their eyes. He could feel the burn of the threats as they spewed out like fiery tendrils.
We discussed how the climate here has changed lately. How “closet racists” now appear to feel shameless about out-ing their bigotry. At first consideration, I am totally in favor.
I like when the a-holes reveal themselves as a-holes.
It takes the guesswork out.
Rather than “closet racists” holding their tongues, I appreciate that they freely display their grotesqueness. However, such emancipation only holds value if the “non-racists” (ya know, “everyone else”) then pounces at the opportunity to address the issue.
I regret to inform you that such was not the case for my friend. Instead, he was hurt by the words and actions of the attackers as well as by the lack of words and actions of the onlookers.
I wanted to cry. I was stunned. Which got me thinking…
As one who once responded to her husband’s instructions to “CALL 911” with a 4-second pause, followed by a series of clarification questions–including, “are you sure?”–what would I have done as an onlooker to such a brutal racial confrontation?
Would I have silently stood by, trying to get a grasp on what was taking place? I felt ashamed that I would even need a moment’s consideration; that I would have an inkling of indecision is appalling.
But I was also brought to action. I now have a plan, mentally-rehearsed in a variety of circumstances, which I will enact if ever I need one.
Are you, fellow human being and despiser of evil, prepared with a plan?
4. One cool way to bridge the gap between weights in kettlebells is to alternate weights during timed intervals.
As it turns out, I cannot quite snatch a 12-kg kettlebell for a full 8 sets of 20s-on/10s-off intervals. My form deteriorates pretty dangerously after set 5. So I decided to snatch the 12-kg kettlebell for the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th sets but use the 8-kg kettlebell for the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th sets. I’ll keep replacing the lighter sets with the heavier ones until I can get all 8 with the 12-kg bell.
By the way, if you want to give this one a shot, my advice is to do all 8 sets (4 minutes) on one side, take a one minute rest, and then do all 8 sets on the other side. It burns. A lot. A lot, a lot.
5. “Unstuffed” cabbage is way easier to make than stuffed cabbage.
Why put effort into wrapping the filling in individual cabbage leaves, placing the rolls gently in a casserole dish, and baking them with sauce fancily drizzled over?
Ok, fine, I know plenty of you probably have plenty of answers to this [very rhetorical] question. “Presentation,” blah, blah, blah.
I say chop the cabbage, throw it all in one pot, scoop it out like a hearty stew, and be done with it.
Oh, you wanted a SWEATY, too?
Alright. Since you asked.
10 squat jumps,
10 broad jumps,
10 rows or pull-ups;
decrease by one rep each round until you finish with 1 rep of each movement.
This fulfills four out of the five foundational movement patterns. Did you see the video wherein Pat, Som, and I demonstrated “The Only Five Kettlebell Exercises You Need”?
For this Sweaty, I scraped it down to bare-bones so that you can do it with bodyweight only, but added some explosiveness to make sure you get maximum bang for your 5-minute buck.
‘Til next time, my friends,
PS – By the way, you may really like being a part of Pat’s Inner Circle, because funtional movement patterns.