Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot
On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
A cool experience this past week. On Memorial Day it is common for many to do the “Murph Challenge” which is named in honor of Navy SEAL Mike Murphy who died heroically in Operation Redwing as told in the book and movie, Lone Survivor written by Marcus Luttrell (who was the only survivor). The workout involves wearing a weighted vest and running 1 mile, then doing 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats and then finishing with another mile run.
I did this workout myself and then my two oldest sons and their friend joined me for another 5-mile run where each of us took turns carrying the American flag. Seeing those young men proudly carry the flag as passing cars beeped their support made me extremely proud. Afterwards they kept talking about how cool the experience was and how glad they were they did it. I was so proud of them and shared a “proud dad” post about it on my Instagram about the event and told my boys I would tag them and some of the Navy SEALs and special operations guys we look up to as well. Almost immediately, our post was “liked” by Marcus Luttrell who was on the mission in which Mike Murphy died and who was his best friend. This meant a lot to all of us, as though he approved of how we were honoring his friend and the thousands of others like him. It was a great day of patriotism for us and an experience we’ll all remember.
Something that’s been working well for me. For the past week, I’ve taken nothing but cold showers. I learned this years ago from reading about Wim Hof who is the godfather of cold training. For space purposes, I won’t go into all the specifics of how (just Google it) it works but being exposed to cold water (and cold in general) forces you to breathe in a certain way to tolerate it. Exposure to the cold water in this fashion leads to physical and mental resiliency, less sensitivity to cold (through production of brown fat), increased testosterone, boosts in metabolism, increased energy and more. I’d gotten away from doing this for some time but am back at it and the benefits for me have been noticeable instantly!
“I walk every day, why am I not losing weight?” I hear this often and wanted to address it. First, there is nothing wrong with walking and it can be great exercise.
When someone goes from being relatively sedentary to beginning to walk regularly, there is often an immediate improvement in terms of weight loss. This is because the body is not accustomed to it and so metabolism is increased. If you continue walking the exact same distance and pace each day, eventually your body will become more efficient and will not need to raise metabolism as much in response, and thus you won’t lose weight. If you were to quicken your pace, increase the distance, start walking more hills or otherwise change the routine; you’d notice a change once again. Finally, if you’re walking and moving more but not following it up with at least decent nutrition, it’ll be difficult to see any noticeable changes from just walking (or any exercise really).
Something I liked recently. My youngest son will be 3 in July and began taking karate a couple months ago. Some classes go well, and some don’t which is what you expect at that age. This week he went to a class and ended up being the only student, so he had the instructor to himself. It went ok for about 10 minutes and then went off the tracks before my wife had to end his lesson (out of respect to the instructor). He was a bit intimidated being in class alone, and it was new for him, so we weren’t worried about it.
What I liked is that the sensei told my wife “I’m not going to tell him he did well because he didn’t “, then offered some constructive advice and explained that this is a normal part of young students’ learning. He wasn’t upset with my son in any way, was kind to him and told him he’d see him tomorrow. Why did I like this? Because I think it’s wonderful when the correct behaviors are reinforced as opposed to commending those that aren’t. He did not insult my son or hurt his feelings; he simply didn’t praise his behavior as being appropriate. When he shows up at his next class and does well, I’m sure he’ll tell my boy that he did great and that will hopefully begin the cycle for him of knowing how to behave in class. This is a small example to me of how good behaviors can be learned and how things that are earned are always far better than those that are simply given.
Some quotes I love.
“You won’t always be motivated that’s why you have to learn to be disciplined.”
“Discipline is doing what you hate to do but doing it like you love it.” – Mike Tyson
“There’s free cheese in a mousetrap.” – saw this on Instagram and dug it