Swim for your life!

I have got a crazy goal – to swim 2,500 metres freestyle on my 100th birthday!

Crazy, isn’t it? WHY???? I hear you scream.

Because 1) You need to have goals in life and 2) When I am swimming, get to around 1500 metres and think of stopping, I say to myself, “Steve, if you cannot do it now, how on Earth do you expect to do it when you are 100!”

So why bother? Because swimming is damned good exercise.

Since I was 8 years old I could swim; in our town, we had a very good swimming instructor, Vic Levitt, who thought that every child should be able to swim. Great man, Vic! I never really got into swimming, though, preferring soccer, rugby and squash.

However, squash at a high level becomes risky after 35 and rugby suicidal. So I started to seriously swim some 25 years ago (running was not a realistic option – flat feet!). I started off doing a length (25m) and having a breather. I swam once a week and built up through 1,000 m breast stroke to where I am today – 2,500 m or more. I “cheat”, according to my family, because I wear flippers, but I do it in about 50 minutes.

Swimming is good for the following reasons:

  1. You exercise many more muscle groups than with running or cycling
  2. You are buoyed by water, so there is no gravitational pressure on joints
  3. Water “gives” to pressure, so you cannot over-strain joints and muscles
  4. Combined with Buteyko breathing, it helps respiration.
  5. It is ideal if you are obese, have arthritis or are pregnant.
  6. It increases flexibility, endurance, muscle tone, strength and cardio-respiratory conditioning without straining your heart.
  7. Acts as an ideal lymphatic pump, helping clear your lymph system of toxins.
  8. After an hours swimming, you release oxytocin , the cuddle-drug, into your bloodstream which makes me feel like I am floating for several hours.
  9. You also meet like-minded people at the beach or in the pool or in the sauna afterwards.

It is important that you swim correctly. I swim TI (total immersion) freestyle with a little bit of latitude due to the flippers. If you want to learn this, visit Terry Laughlin’s Youtube pages. Many women try to keep their heads above the water, which causes neck problems. Get some goggles or a face mask to avoid this.

Personally, I don’t like swimming in the sea. Therefore I am very glad to swim in a local pool that has Denmark’s best water quality. It is not overheated either.

One thing the Buteyko breathing is taught me is how to swim a full length underwater. I generally do this every 10th length. You feel like a dolphin, but alas, I have not mastered moon walking with my flippers or leaping 6 metres in the air.

I also do a “high intensity burst” every 10 lengths between underwater swimming. This is supposed to be very good conditioning for the body. I give it everything and swim 25 metres in 15 seconds on one breath. It is absolutely exhilarating!

I have also been inspired over the years by the octogenarians who swim on a daily basis at the pool. I am working towards swimming at this age and beyond.

So, get your swimming togs out and go down to your local pool. If I can do 2,500 lengths at 61, so can you and who knows? We could start a  100 (25m lengths) at 100 club!





Flushed With Success

Over 500,000 gall stone operations are performed in the US each year – the great majority apparently unnecessarily.

That is a startling figure. I’ll come back to it later.

It seems that many people suffer from gall stones and having lost 10 kilos in 3 months, I read that the residue from the fat-burning could be cholesterol that is released and ends up in the liver,  waiting to be recycled.  I have a family history of gall stones; my Father had his removed when he was 54, and as it was before keyhole operations, his wound became septic which kept him off work for ages. My sister had her gall bladder removed in her late forties; “Forty, Fat and Fair” she was told.

I decided, therefore, to do something about it in the form of a liver flush. Now, this might not suit everyone and it is not for the squeamish. I found various instructions on the Internet and decided to follow those of Dr. Hulda Clark.

A bit of research showed that a lifetime of eating C.R.A.P (C.R.A.P.: C – Carbonated drinks. R – Refined sugars. A – Artificial sweeteners & colours. P – Processed.) causes a so-called fatty-liver. The liver is the processing works for the body and performs many functions. Amazingly, it is the only organ that can regenerate, so it is never too late to do something for your liver.

After I did the flush, I mentioned it to a friend “Oh, so you have read Andreas Moritz’s book The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse ?” I had not until after I did the flush, but in it, he claims that gall stones are the root of most that is evil in our bodies and are the result of stones that form in the bile ducts of the liver. The stones, usually made of cholesterol or hardened bile, block these ducts or get passed to the gall bladder, where they also eventually block the bile duct. This means that there is accumulated bile sludge and furthermore, only a small amount of bile enters the small intestine. Bile is vital for good health as it aids the absorption of nutrients and the expulsion of waste.

The flush – what I did

In retrospect, I would have fasted longer. I started the process at lunchtime and after 2 PM, I did not eat anything. At 6 PM, I dranks a solution of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), which was to relax and dilate the bile duct. It tastes terrible, so you have to cool it in the fridge. At 8 PM, I repeated the process.

At 10 PM, I drank a mixture of 125 ml of olive oil, 125 ml of fresh lemon juice, 2 crushed cloves of garlic and half a teaspoon of powdered ginger. It tastes absolutely DREADFUL!

The instructions said go to bed immediately and lay on your right side for a while. I did go to sleep, but at about 3 AM, I awoke and felt that I had an internal pinball machine fitted. I also felt like I had a hangover, with some nausea. Eventaully I fell asleep again. At 6 AM, I got up, not feeling too bad.

I had another Epsom salt drink, but -argh! I forgot to put it in the fridge! It is the worst taste ever. I could not eat, but the drink fills you somewhat. At 8 AM, I had the last of the epsom salts, and actually walked the dog. This might have been ill-advised, because when I came back, I exploded in the loo!

If you have seen the bit in “Dumb and Dumber” where Lloyd gives Harry laxatives and Harry  is at the Swanson’s residence and is on the loo, you will know what I mean by explode!

Without going into the gory details, the results were obvious. It looked as though I had eaten green peas and black lentils- hundreds of them! The temporary diarrhoea continued for an hour. (Don’t make any plans to go out that morning). At the end of it, I was exhausted.

At 10 AM, I ventured an apple and a cup of tea.  No problems.

I found it prudent to eat some Acido yoghurt, to replace the flora in my gut that I had probably lost. I could have taken probiotics, but at $50 equivalent for 30 capsules, I thought the yoghurt, at $3 was a cheaper solution.

I had twinges in my right side for a couple of days, but that is passed. Would I do it again? Yes, after reading The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse at regular intervals.

I was asked if it was possible to do this after you have had the gall bladder removed and the answer is “yes”, because you don’t stop producing gall stones after gall bladder removal.

I wish that my Father and sister had known about this body maintenance before they had their gall bladders removed. It seems that the gall bladder plays a far more important role than is recognised by doctors, but as long as it is a “nice little earner”, I suppose people will be offered the operation before the flush.

Over 800,000 hospitalisations and $2 bn are spent on gall bladder disease a year. I hope that my blog here will better inform people on the options availbale.

Incidentally, it makes me wonder why drug companies have not developed a liver flush? Perhaps they have a pact with the medical profession; don’t you dare create something that threatens our livelihood! I find it significant that the Healthline website does not mention liver flush as a treatment for bile duct blockage (but specifies gall bladder removal).

PS: If your doctor says that you should not drink olive oil and lemon juice, ask him or her why it is OK to drink carbonated sugary drinks!