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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

PQTD 118 Live Long and Prosper!

Did you know that orchestra conductors are the longest lived profession? Neither did I until recently, but it makes perfect sense to me. Number 1 is the exercise involved- Exercise? Yes, indeed. Moving both arms, while flexing the torso isometrically as you move those moderately tensed arms- why, this is Perfectly Paleo Exercise in action!

I just finished my one weekly basement workout, in which I work on the gymnastic rings, doing pushups, pull-ups, dips and pistol squats, usually rather intensively. Every morning on the other days of the week I spend a more relaxing 45 minutes to an hour, tensing my muscles in virtual resistance exercise, where I flex as I move my limbs through their full range of motion. Like an orchestra conductor, but more intensely, and using every muscle in my body from toe to head. I usually watch Netflix while I do so, and it is the highlight of my day!

But again, today I did my very intense workout (while listening to a podcast), and then went out in the rain and sprinted across my land for a couple of reps. About 40 minutes total. When I started, I didn’t really feel like it, but once I got going I felt great, as I do now- well worth it! It keeps my 64 year old body fitter now than it was when I was a 35 year old weightlifter and distance runner, and I have no aches and pains in my shoulders, feet, knees and hips as I did then! Check out my books PaleoJay’s Smoothie Cafe and Perfectly Paleo Exercise to see how I exercise, eat and live.

But back to long lived orchestra conductors- is it just the exercise that keeps them vital until they are in their 90’s or longer? No, it is also the music! I am a musician, (My newest CD PaleoJay Plays On is being printed now), and I can attest to the rejuvenating power of melody, or rhythms that soothe and excite. The ringing chords when my old barbershop group sang in perfect harmony, or the sounds of blending my voice with my daughter when we sing together in gospel songs.

You don’t need to be a great musician. You just need to be competent, and to enjoy it! Playing is wonderful, but listening is nearly as satisfying. Listen to wonderful music while you exercise, walk, drive, or even just sit out in nature. Music is a trigger, a catalyst. It can bring you inner peace, motivation, and just sheer joy.

Rap music, or hip hop, and heavy metal should be cautioned against, however. I don’t think it’s just my age, but I would quantify these types as aural graffiti. Just as graffiti is NOT art, but actually is anti-art, so are these types of music not music, buy anti-music. Either will shorten your life, and make it less rich and fulfilling; not the reverse. They are the “processed junk food” of the arts world.

And with that caveat aside, let me leave you with this: my parents are still fine, living together at home as always. In July I am going to visit them to celebrate my dad’s 96th birthday! My mother just turned 90 in March, and all of her 8 kids were there. They climb the stairs to their bedroom each night, since as my dad says “stairs are healthy!”

They were both professional musicians, and still listen to music daily.

Check out this episode!