Outdoors Isometrics are one of my secrets to improving my immune system, staying positive and focused and increasing my energy levels. Oh and getting stupidly strong, obviously! :-)
I wish I could say it was always warm and sunny with a beautiful breeze and clear blue skies. But I live in Ireland, so it's mostly in the rain. Rain fall in this country is like oxygen, it's a constant. Well that is a slight exaggeration, but for the most part Ireland will have rain daily, or every 2nd day at least with it varying from a light shower to horrific conditions such as Ireland is facing at the moment, with flood water destroying homes and villages alike.
But I do my martial arts training outdoors daily and as such my Isometric practice is often outdoors too and there are good reasons to my suffering of the Irish weather. Now I'm no lunatic, nor am I engaged in esoteric practices. I'll put on gloves, wet gear, scarves, the lot - no training in my underwear, barefoot in the snow or under a waterfall anymore. Those were the mad trials of my youth. I'm far more sensible now. But I still train outdoors in the cold and the wet and the rain and on those rare and wonderful days, in the warmth of the sun.
Part of studying the martial arts and Outdoor Isometrics, for me at any rate, is connecting with my natural environment. Modern life today insulates us from our natural environment. I spend the vast majority of time in the clinic or in my office working away. When I come home, due to my wife's injury I spend most our time indoors (though prior to that we both had a great love of hiking and walking in nature). But such extreme disconnection from our natural environment is unhealthy. And I'm not alone in this. Most of us in the modern world spend too much time indoors and rarely do we expose ourselves to the natural world.
As such we easily fall out of rhythm with the world, and I see the effects of this on people's health daily. Staying up well past what we are meant to in the winter months because we developed artificial light leaves us weary and our immune systems compromised. The lack of fresh air and the over consumption of recycled and stale air leads us to chronic lung and immune problems and sick building syndrome is on a sharp rise.
The lack of sunlight leads to Vitamin D deficiencies linked to a number of serious illnesses such as Cancer, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, Depression and more. In fact, Vitamin D affects the health and function of over 200 genes, including regulating insulin function and testosterone levels. This means that a session of outdoors training improves more muscle, less fat and vastly improved health markers.
Outdoors Isometrics also improves out mental clarity, increases positivity and our overall mindset. May studies have shown outdoors exposure to clean air and sunlight leaves a lasting improvement on mood concentration and cognitive function. In addition it clears stress and improves the quality of our sleep.
For a warrior and someone studying the martial art there is additional concerns. Understanding the ebbs and flows of nature, and the physics of the natural world was a key part of warriors training in hehio - military strategy. Knowing which angle to position oneself against the sun, casting it's glare into the eyes of the opponent, or understanding how a thick fog will rise early the next morning are important considerations in battle. Without a connection to natural environment how can we develop and appreciate such things?
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