The motivation for The Good Life Column came from an issue that arose almost one year ago. I was having pains in my chest and weird "tremors" in my heart some nights before I fell asleep. I decided to go to the doctor. After a few tests and some conversation, the results came in: my blood pressure was 153/91 (normal is considered to be 120/80) and my heart rate was 14-16 beats per minute higher than normal. I was in a state of hypertension. For a 28 year old who works out 5-6 times a week and eats pretty damn good, something did not make sense. The doctor wasn't phased at all. He told me to relax more, have some fun, take up meditation or try some yoga. That is exactly what I did!
Over the course of this past year, I have decided to experiment with different relaxation methods. If it meant that it could potentially make my blood pressure return to normal, I was in! I have done yoga, hot yoga, ran more often, meditation, quit caffeine...then started drinking it again...then quit again...then, well, you get the idea, and a few of other things I'd rather not mention. Just the other night I went over to Revolutions on 378 in Bethlehem and participated in their Paint Nite event. I have to be totally honest here, this was not exactly my idea for a fun night out. It took a little coaxing from my girlfriend, actually a lot of coaxing, but I gave in and decided to attend. It was my first time in Revolutions and the place is pretty sweet. There were about 14-18 people in the class and one instructor. Like most things I have tried this past year, it is mostly women. If it wasn't for one other guy, I would have been the only dude in there! But anyway, the instructor was great as she walked us through the process of painting on a canvas (as you can see by the picture above, I will not be quitting my day job anytime soon). The great thing about these Paint Nites is that you can do whatever the heck you want. You can let your creativity shine because there are no grades for this art project. You can literally do whatever you want! Who doesn't like that?
So how does painting tie in with health and wellness? To put it simply, it enables you to relax. It is a low stress, low stakes way to unlock your creative potential. Painting, or coloring, is a relaxation technique that has been used for over 100 years. This activity enables you to let your mind go to places that it never would if you were instead trolling Instagram or Facebook. Even if you are not digging the whole Paint Nite thing, you can go on Amazon.com and purchase an adult coloring book and get the same benefits! It should come to no surprise, people all over the world are stressed out, both physically and emotionally. These stressors come from the way we live, the way we eat, the way we sleep, and the way we spend our waking hours. With that being said, the fate of your health is largely in your own hands! Don't be like me and wait until something is wrong. Take control of your life now and I can promise you, you will be a much happier and healthier individual.
The next Paint Nite at Revolutions is September 23rd at 7:00 pm. Click here for more details! Maybe I will see you all there!
Chris is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has recently served as a high school football and wrestling coach. Chris loves swinging kettlebells around, watching football and reading books!