TMI: Weird & Embarrassing Stuff I Do For Health

by Claudius J West

tim-ferriss“Recent research suggests that those who sit from 9-5 (more than 6 hours daily) and exercise regularly are more likely to have heart disease than those who sit less than 3 hours per day and don’t “exercise” at all.” from The Blog of Author Timothy Ferriss, March 13, 2012

Within the past week, I built myself my own standing desk. This isn’t such a weird and embarrassing practice, but I thought I’d ease you into the insanity, gradually.

All it took to make my regular desk into standing desk was running a piece of plywood over my table-saw, then propping it on the desktop with two wicker baskets underneath, which, happily, put the working surface at just the right height. Time of transformation from start to finish: about half an hour.

I now possess the talisman that will ward off the curse of shortened lifespan brought on by excessive (more than 3 hours) of sitting, the curse that no amount of exercise can keep at bay.

Except that I can’t stand for as long as I can sit.

The simple solution is to buy a stool of the proper dimensions and use it when my feet need a break.

How to do it working with the materials at hand, thrifty-like?

I have an exercise ball I use mostly for a desk chair on account of a persistent pain in my left buttock acquired one day while laying molding for hours on end doing so the entire time seated on the offending butt cheek. These days, prolonged sitting causes a physical complaint from that region. An ergonomic kneeling chair was my first, partial solution, before bringing in the exercise ball. I like the kneeling chair—it definitely gets used—but, overall, I prefer the exercise ball.Swiss exercise ball

I tried placing the exercise ball on a footstool to raise it to the required height. It might have worked if only I could balance like a monkey. Instead, the footstool behaved like an excited puppy running off to answer the doorbell. One wrong wiggle from me, and the stool shot off out of sight, leaving me excited and flailing for my life.

I have a rebounder, that is, a miniature trampoline. They say it is good for massaging one’s cells with all of the up and down motion—at the top, no gravity; at the bottom, double gravity—which I hope is true. It sounds true, but who knows for sure? Primarily, I rely on my rebounder to give my lymphatic system a brisk what-for, to make sure the lymph is flowing and doing its job.

I had moved the rebounder out of the office after it occurred to me that all of that vibration from boinging up and down was probably slicing lifespan off my computer’s hard-drives with a machete. Now, I moved it back into the office and ensconced the exercise ball at its center. Perfection. If I want to, I can get the most excellent bounce going, using my tushie (and so cushioned it doesn’t upset the hard-drives).

Because of my recent, near-total abstinence from sugar and grain, plus a devotion to daily green drinks, I am losing fat at a furious rate. I can’t tell you exactly how much because I don’t have a scale to measure it, and probably wouldn’t use one if I had it. The downside of losing fat is the toxins stored in the fat tissues getting evicted and causing a ruckus on the way out. “I feel like shit—that’s a sign I’m burning fat, which is a good thing, even if it feels bad.” It’s been a gravel road for more than six weeks, now, and I am ready for the detox-bummer to be over and the fantastic vitality and inner sunshine to take its place. I am considering coffee enemas to help speed up the detox process.

bag of epsom salt white mountainWhile strolling through Kmart, I spied a bag of Epsom salts. Epsom salts are supposed to be good for detoxing, right? “Yes,” said Ms. Immortal. “Denise stuck her feet in a pan of Epsom salts and the water turned black.”

Holy smokes. Denise, who for years ate macro-biotically, and is a total vegan? How could she have that many toxins in her system? Me, I’m not that far removed from a frequent diet of B.K. fish sandwiches, Hershey chocolate mousse pies, Mountain Dew and Klondike bars. The black in my pan would be likely to turn to a black hole, and that would be the end of me.

But I did it, anyway. I’ve stood in a plastic box with Epsom salts for four days in a row, now, whenever I’m standing at my desk, and the water is nothing but clear. It makes me suspect that perhaps doctors slip a little something extra in with the Epsom salts to give it that gee-whiz factor. “Wow, look how dark that water turned. It must really be doing a heck of a good job clearing out those toxins, am I right, Doctor Voodoo?”

So, why don’t I stop standing in the plastic box? Well, it might be doing something important, down there.

But that’s not the weirdest thing I do. Dr. Mercola had a couple of articles and video interviews on the subject of “grounding,” also known as “earthing.” Maybe the name gives you a clue. The idea is that when our skin is in contact with an infinite capacitor, such as the earth, as when walking outside barefoot, free electrons enter our bodies and serve as “the most potent antioxidants known to man.” Not only that, but being grounded makes you impervious to the bad effects of electromagnetic fields. Mercola and his guest, Clint Ober, demonstrated the science behind grounding using a low-voltage electric yield detector and a laptop.

(Check it out, here.)

It’s science. It has to be true, right?

Why not give it a try, I asked myself. During warm weather, it’s easy enough to go barefoot. But because I spend a lot of time in front of this computer, I wondered how I could get the benefits of grounding, particularly when I am surrounded by devices creating electromagnetic fields galore including whatever the Wi-Fi box is beaming out.

Monster XP Compact Precision Stranded High Resolution Speaker Cable with Magnetic Flux So, I threw a roll of Monster XP Compact Precision Stranded High Resolution Speaker Cable with Magnetic Flux Tube (because that’s what I found in the garage) out the upstairs office window, attached one end to a steel post I pounded into the ground, snipped a notch out of the plastic window frame so that the cable didn’t stop the window from closing, and wrapped the other end of exposed cable around my ankle.

Being tethered by the ankle proved inconvenient. I switched to a quarter-inch tube of copper shaped more or less like a horseshoe with the cable attached to one end of the tube. This I could easily slip on and off my neck.

The one thing my grounding setup doesn’t yet include (something I learned from the Mercola video that I really, really should have): an impedance resistor. With the impedance resistor acting as a fuse, if I then touch one of the various electrical devices I’m surrounded by and, because of a short circuit, happen to form my own circuit with the earth and the PSE&G power grid, I will only be a little bit surprised, rather than fatally shocked.

For this reason, I almost always take off my copper collar before messing with the space heater or the lamps.

Electrical Grid with sun in backgroundAnd then, just a short time ago, I noticed that the insulation on the wire on my computer mouse is split open and showing a significant number of stray strands. Time to get my ass to a Radio Shack, no doubt about it.

So, if you came into my office, you would see me standing here in a box of water with a copper wire hanging from around my neck.

If that’s not weird enough for you, you will have to wait for TMI:The Sequel.

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