Category Archives: Health and Fitness

My areas of interest include bicycling, cholesterol, indoor cycling classes, weight-loss, yoga, prostate cancer, and so on.

Morning Routine

During his podcast interviews, Tim Ferriss often asks people about their morning routines. He also mentioned The Five-Minute Journal. I bought a copy of the journal and started being more intentional first thing in the morning. I’d be interested if you have an interesting morning routine or have suggestions for me.

Here’s my morning routine:

  • 5:30 am, approximately – Wake up. No alarm clock. Usually I’m asleep by 10 pm, so I get about seven to eight hours of sleep.
  • 5:30 to 5:50 – Listen to a guided (vipassana) mediation by Tara Brach. I do this while still in bed. For me this is like yoga; a physical, rather than spiritual practice. A relaxing way to fully wake up.
  • 5:50 to 6:15 – Read a page from a few sources to get my brain working:
    • The Intellectual Devotional. One page write-ups about history, literature, visual arts, science , music, philosophy, and religion. The last three topics were the Hagia Sophia, black holes, and instruments & ensembles. The title is so pretentious I don’t like to admit that I’m reading it.
    • The Daily Book of Art. One page write-ups about visual arts. The last three topics have been Texture, What is the Purpose of Art?, and Early Christian & Byzantine Art.
    • The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Cross-referenced definitions. Usually I follow a string of definitions; materialism > atomism > field theory. This can be a heavy lift in the morning: Logic > predicate calculus > propositional variables. I may replace this one. This morning I picked up Enterprise Integration Patterns, which I bought a few years ago, but haven’t finished. However, deciphering Java Message Service code might also be too heavy a lift for early morning.
  • 6:15 to 6:30 – Write in The Five-Minute Journal. I try to write for no more than five minutes, but usually go longer. The Journal has enough pages for about seven months. I’m about halfway through. When I finish all the pages in this book, I think I’ll buy a blank book and design my own daily outline.
  • 6:30 to 7:00 Shower & dress
  • 7:00 to 7:30 Breakfast
  • 7:30 to 7:45 Leave for work

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I plan to bicycle to work. Leaving at 6:30-ish.

How do you wake up?

More info:

Tim Ferriss, http://fourhourworkweek.com/podcast/

The Five-Minute Journal, http://www.fiveminutejournal.com/

Tara Brach, http://www.tarabrach.com/

Intellectual Devotional, http://amzn.to/1egQcwU

Daily Book of Art, http://amzn.to/1EkKfUN

Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, http://amzn.to/1K3jjhg

Enterprise Integration Patterns, http://amzn.to/1Sfsb9h

Simplfied Medicare Sign-up

At first the decisions related to initially signing up for Medicare seem complex. For most people the decisions are actually simple. I suggest that at least one month before you turn 65 that you sign up for Medicare. I did the following, I recommend you do the same, unless you have atypical requirements.

Buy Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D

  • Sign up for parts A & B. Part A has no cost. The cost of Part B is only $104.90 in 2015. This gives you the basic coverage.
  • Sign up for Option F for part C (supplemental coverage) and for Part D (drug coverage). Supplemental coverage takes care of deductibles and a lot of other hidden or potential catastrophic costs.

Buy from AARP / UnitedHealthcare

Buy supplemental coverage (Part C) and drug coverage (Part D) from AARP/United Healthcare. AARP markets supplemental and drug coverage for UnitedHealthcare. Almost all other insurers pay sales commissions to insurance salesmen. My cost for both supplemental and drug coverage is about $400 per month.

Notice that you end up making three payments each month. The people who administer the supplemental and drug plans work for UnitedHealthcare, but you can’t pay a bill that combines supplemental and drug coverage. Be sure to automate your payments.

Note that I am not an expert (I am not certified or licensed in anything related to Medicare.) or a professional (No one pays me to sell you anything.). However, I would prefer to hold and state an informed opinion. If you disagree with my opinions and decisions, please feel free to post a comment.

If you’d like to be confused by way too much information, then go here: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.20/handbook-2015.html

Bicycle to Work This Fall

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. “

–Stanley Horowitz

Be part of the scenery, don’t just look out the window.

Now that it’s fall, too many people put their bicycles into storage until spring. You may not want to bicycle in the snow (I have to check to see if my studded tires arrived at the store yet.), but don’t put your bicycle away too soon. Put on a sweater and pedal out. This morning I rode my bike to work through the woods along the Raccoon River and realized how much I enjoy biking in the fall.

Why should you bike to work this fall? It’s–

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