Afterwork Fitness from Heidelberg to Königstuhl with Chia and Vibram

Yesterday I’ve decide to meet some friends in the beautiful old city of Heidelberg. Heidelberg is situated directly on the Neckar River and between the hills of Odenwald. I have one very favourite route there – it’s a very steep stairs path from the old castle to Königstuhl – the highest peak above Heidelberg. this path is called the Himmelsleiter. It means in English – stairs to the sky. There are more than 1200 stairs and they are so steep, so they definitely look like stairs to the sky. Here is the path and from here you can get more information in German about it.

So, as you can understand, I couldn’t miss this place ;). And I decided to combine it with even more pleasure – I’ve ran up and down the path. Recently I’ve discovered the power chia seeds which the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico use in order to have power to run hundreds of kilometres in the mountains. As you may already know, I like to run and walk barefoot, but it was still too cold for me, so I’ve chosen the Vibram Five Fingers KSO model. It was very easy to run down with them, because I’ve felt every single stone. I’m not quite sure if the chia seeds worked for me, but I’m going to experiment with them further. I had to eat additional stuff. I suppose I’ve ate not enough from them and it was some 8 hours earlier, so they couldn’t help me a lot.

But never the less – if you like to have a short, but a really nice fitness experience, visit the Himmelsleiter. You will be happy with your decision. I was even luckier, because there was a magnificent sunset at Königstuhl. And down from the castle gardens, there was again a nice view above the red roofs of the houses of Heidelberg. Moments that last seconds, but that you never forget!

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Physical Activities and Professional Sport

There are often some discussions about professional sport and physical activities in the leisure time. Are these really healthy? Are these too commercial? As a man, who has always done a lot of sports and other physical activities I want to say my opinion. I used to love and be inspired from every single type of sport and physical activity. From the age of 6 to 14 I used to play almost every day football or some other sports and this for not less than 6 hours per day! Later it was not so often, but it was still very much. At the same time I used to watch a lot of sports as well, which is nothing but time lost.

Nowadays I’m still in love with sport, but for me it is more important not only what you do, but how you do it. If you hike to the top of a mountain it is much better than to go with the cable car. And if you don’t ski you’ll do definitely something good for the nature. Whole mountains slopes are completely spoiled because of the skiing industry. On the other hand you can hike to the top with your skis and then go down with no way or on a tiny path. Skiing is just the first example of commercial sports done only for money. Football and Formula 1 are even better examples. Both have a really bad impact. Actually I don’t even like the bicycles as well, because on them you have to sit and sitting is not a natural position. It was invented by people and is not healthy. That’s why I don’t have a bicycle and prefer to walk. Even for longer distances running is more practical than cycling.

So I think that commercial sports are not good. Most of them are bad for the environment, for the society and for your health. Look at some great athletes or football players. They often have perfect bodies and look great. But on the same time they often have a short career of 10-20 years and after that look really bad and old. Very often the physical activities they do are one-sided and thus develop some parts of the body and let others unused. Such a one-sided development of the body is very bad for your health. Sports and other physical activities are only good when they develop the whole body or when they are combined with some other activities in order to develop your body in a more holistic way.

On the other side physical activities have to go hand in hand with feelings, thinking, praying and so on. Activities for the good condition of the body must be combined with such for your heart, your brain, your mind, your soul, spirit and so on. After a long time of stressing only on one of these activities, you definitely have to switch to another one in order to develop sustainably.

We are given a great body, a great dynamical apparatus, which is there to be used. If we don’t use it, we are not making the best of our body. But you don’t have to play sports in order to use it. You can dance, you can hike, you can have a lot of sex and so on. These are all nice physical activities in which you use your dynamical apparatus. And it is very important to use your dynamical apparatus, because it is directly connected to your willpower. And the willpower helps you make changes, take decisions, stay on your path, succeed. If you make push-ups, it is not so important that you make 50 or 100 or 1000. It is important that when you’ve already done 50 and think that you can’t do any more, that you do the 51st. This is the simplest way not only to develop further your body and mind, but to strengthen your willpower.

If we look at the social aspects of sport, then we can find some very nice things, especially in the team sports. They not only build your team spirit and compassion, but also unite people it a great manner. And they even build your leadership, organisational, communicational and many other soft skills, which are so important not only for your career, but also for your everyday life. It is impossible to hate other nationalities or races, when you’ve played together with them as for years as a child. And you learn to understand them. You can explore the different characters and types of people while playing together with them. I need only a few minutes to play football with someone and I can already tell you what kind of person he is. You can even experience the differences between the social classes when you play football. That’s something very important that you learn additionally while having fun. And that’s the best. You can have fun with everyone! This can be learned from sport as well. 

If you are good in sports, you’ll be good in business as well. Every sportsman is a businessman. Businessman of his oft body. The best and most successful sportsmen are good businessmen as well. Can you imagine what it means to be the best in some sport? To have the world record! This means hard work, this means discipline, this means a lot. Not everyone can do it. The same is with business. And even better is that as a sportsman you always have the dream to be the best. And you always give everything to achieve it. And you never give up, no matter what difficulties you encounter. This is one of the aspects I love in sport.

 

Let’s Clean the World as sLOVEnia Done

A great Slovenian friend of mine just send me this video:

I can say only one thing – great, great, great. I was in Slovenia exactly one month ago and can definitely tell you, that this is a clean country. What is here more exciting is that the people just gather together and cleaned big parts of their country. The scale is enormous! And we don’t have to stop with Slovenia, but go further and clean our own countries as well! Clean the whole world and don’t wait for the decisions of the policy makers. Just act. Let’s do it world!

And if you don’t act in such a big scale, it is still good to act. It is always good to clean some trash you see on the streets, in the nature and so on. Of course, it is much better to stop to create trash at all. It is possible! Since I’m not a big consumer and I’m buying almost nothing than food and clothes, when I’ve started to eat regional and organic food I managed to reduce my trash more than 90%! So it is easy and it is much more important not to create trash at all. If we don’t stop comsuming so much and creating so much trash, we will be never able to get rid of it, no matter what methods we use and how much we clean. So not creating rubbish is more important than cleaning trash, but there are at least two very important points about cleaning trash:

1. Even if we stop creating trash, there is already enough trash we have to clean.

2. The positive example of cleaning trash is really like flu and infects everyone who has seen it. Nowadays I’m taking sometimes (aim is to do it always and to infect more people is a dream) a bag with me and collecting some trash on the way. Or I’m doing this while waiting for a bus or train. But mostly when I’m outside in the nature and hike somewhere where no one is collecting trash and it stays there for years. But what’s more interesting is how I’ve started. I’ve used to live in Germany for a long time and here there are many old people collecting trash when they have nothing else to do. This hasn’t infected me for years, but after I’ve seen a 7 years old boy, who was waiting alone for a bus on the stop and was collecting the trash, something changed in me immediately. This small child does this without someone urging him to do it? So he was completely sure and enthusiastic in what he was doing. At this age? We are creating the trash and our children shall collect it? That’s not fair. I’m not going to spoil the world and let my kids collect trash because they have no other choice!

We Are Born to Run Barefoot оr How to Realise a Dream!

I’ve just seen a TEDx Video from Christopher McDougall, a ultra marathon runner. Ultra marathon means running for more than 100 miles. He is the fastest ultra marathon runner in the world. No one managed to beat him instead some of the Tarahumara Indians who live in the canyons of north Mexico. These people have running as a part of their lifestyle. They can fun for hundreds of miles barefoot on the sharp rocks of the mountains, up and down. And all of the modern diseases are completely unknown for their society!

Christopher McDougall started as every other marathon runner and used every possible kind of modern running shoes. At the end the result was always the same – a lot of injuries and health problems. At some point he discovered the barefoot running and since them he had no injuries at all.

Why am I writing this to you? In order to share my own experience with you. When i was a child I was very good in long-distance running. My dream was to become an athlete for long distances. But at the age of 8 I fell down from a high tree directly on my head and have a strong concussion, so my parents preferred that I stop with such big physical exposures. I stopped, but I was still doing a lot of sports. Nevertheless my dream was more or less death. But this changed 3 years ago. In the summer I’ve decided to start to walk a little barefoot because it is so healthy. As a child I used to play a lot barefoot around, especially when I was at the village of my grandparents. And because this village is near the Black sea, we went to the beach every single day in the summer. And there I walked barefoot as well. So barefoot walking was actually nothing new for me. At first it was not so easy to start to walk barefoot again. Even the smallest stones made my feet hurt. But this changed with the time.

I started to walk a lot barefoot and ended even walking only barefoot the whole summer, from the end of May till the beginning of October. I like it a lot. Barefoot walking makes your whole body much stronger and increases your endurance enormously. But there is a problem – the cold weather in the other three seasons. I wanted to start to walk barefoot even in winter, but my feet are always very cold when I’m not moving fast. Two years ago I’ve discovered a great help – the Vibram Five Finger Shoes. These are good for the spring and autumn even if you have cold feet, because you can always put two pairs of good wool socks. There are even some models as KSO Trek (and some other coming soon) which you can use in winter, but only if it is not wet.

There is still not good alternative for wet weather. So I was looking forward to find a solution, so I can walk barefoot or almost barefoot with the Vibram Five Fingers also in cold and wet weather. At the same time I’ve decided to walk 7 to 10 km to and back from my office in order to save some money and spend them. I knew that if I run I’m not going to feel cold. But I was lazy to do 17 to 20 km of running everyday while caring a bag with some stuff and clothes to change and so on. So I skipped this possibility for a long time. Till I met the right person at the right time.

Last summer we were doing one of our moon light hikes in the mountains near Freiburg with some friends and couch surfers. We do such hikes every time when it is full moon and there are no clouds. These are really great and let you experience something completely new – the nature and your own body in the night. And of course to enjoy the sunset and the sunrise, which are definitely the most beautiful times of the day. At this hike one of my friends seen that we are hiking barefoot in the night and told us about the Tarahumara Indians who run for hundreds of miles barefoot. I was pretty interested in this topic, so he sent me the next day some articles about this. Unfortunately (or fortunately as it turned out later) I had no time to read them on the next day. I had a very busy day in the office. At the end of the day my head was full with stupidities and I’ve spontaneously decided to go again for a hike after work. I’ve hiked for several hours before it started to get really dark. I was alone in the woods of the Black Forest Mountain in some place I’ve never been before. And this time it was very very dark, so I had to go back down in some village as soon as possible in order not to get lost and to have to spend the whole night in the mountain. So I decided to run down the hills as fast as I can. I ran for about one hour till I’ve arrived in a small city. I was running barefoot on different grounds feeling very toning.

On the next morning I’ve discovered that I can barely move all my arm muscles! I was running barefoot down the hill for about 10 km, but the muscles of my legs were completely ok. Where does this muscle strain in the arms come from? Very strange, I had no clue. Some hours later I had some time in the office to read the articles about the Tarahumara Indians. There was a very good description of their barefoot running technique on the rocky canyons and mountains in north Mexico. They use their toes and front part of the leg and make small but fast steps and move their arms a lot. Amazing! Without knowing this while running barefoot down the slope, my body discovered automatically the best way of running. That’s why I had this muscle strains in the arms and not in the legs. I was working more with the arms than with the legs. And I had a lot of fun running barefoot such a long distance on the mountainous terrain. I discovered the running again for myself.

Since then I’m running with my Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek in the winter to and from work for 20 km and have no problems with the cold and wet weather. I’m looking forward to the time when I will walk barefoot even in winter. I not only feeling much better, but I also have again a dream to become a ultra marathon runner 🙂

Healthy in body and mind

Total sustainability can be developed and maintained by the society only if all of its members or at least the majority of them develope themselves towards a conscious life. And every single individual is responsible for its thoughts and actions. An important precondition is body and mind healthiness. Thats why I’m going to publish some ideas and small actions which maintain and recover our health.

Nowadays we live in a modern consumption-based society which enables us to choose the right product or service. It is therefore from enormous importance to make a conscious and sustainable choice, especially about our body and mind health. There are many peril everyday habits, which are a big obstacle towards a healthy life. So I’m going to reveal and discuss some ot them in the health column.