Day 3 of your preparation for Blue Monday…

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being,
while movement and methodical physical exercise
save it and preserve it.” – Plato (427 – 347 BC)

To save re-inventing the wheel, here’s an extract from my book: Smiling From The Heart which explains clearly the benefits of exercise:

“A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine discovered that there are other reasons why exercise is such a powerful mood enhancer. Professor Ellen Billett and her colleagues at the Sports Science Department of Nottingham Trent University discovered that levels of a chemical called phenylethylamine, which is similar in chemical structure to amphetamine, increases significantly during training and has a substantial mood lifting effect.”


“Researchers at America’s Duke University found that working out three times a week had a greater effect on reducing depression than drugs from the same family as Prozac. Six months after 156 people had completed Duke’s 16-week study, only 8% of the exercisers saw their depression return.”

Pretty positive benefits.

And in spite of what you might have been told elsewhere, exercise doesn’t have to involve huffing, puffing, sweating and straining for it to be beneficial.

Something as simple as a brisk walk can be enough.

The key is to just do something regularly:

  • Go for a walk.
  • Go for a swim.
  • Ride a bike.
  • Whatever you fancy.

My personal recommendation and favourite form of exercise is good-ol-fashioned callisthenics or Body Weight Training as it’s called these days.

The reason why I love callisthenics so much is because you are the gym.

You don’t need to buy any expensive weights, supplements, training gear, gym memberships and so on.

You just need yourself, some comfortable clothing, a bit of determination and you’re good to go.

It’s very much like Qigong in that respect.

There are a huge amount of products you can choose from if you want to start your own callisthenics program.

But my personal favourite and the one I’ve been using since August 2011 is ‘Coach’ Paul Wades ‘Convict Conditioning’.

Now don’t let the name put you off. Get passed it and you’ll discover the most structured and well put together program of callisthenics I know of.

Whether it’s been 40 years since you did any physical exercise, or if you’re a gym bunny – this systematic program will work for you.

Paul focuses on what he calls the big six:

  1. Push ups
  2. Pull ups
  3. Squats
  4. Leg raises
  5. Bridges
  6. Handstands

Each exercise of the big six contains 10 main steps so you’ll easily find a great place to start from.

Convict Conditioning (CC) passes the five critieria I look for in any program:

  1. Comprehensive – CC is a complete course in itself, there’s no need for you to buy any further equipment.
  2. Right Level – From complete beginner to advanced practitioner you’ll be able to access this material.
  3. Systematic – The CC program is methodical and requires no ‘quantum’ leaps in your understanding. Everything is clearly laid out with no guess work involved.
  4. Beneficial – If you want to get stronger and fitter without going to a gym and spending loads of money and equipment CC is a must.
  5. Enjoyable – Paul’s writing is gritty and to the point. He debunks a lot of myths and tells some great stories.

All you need is the determination to show up and follow the instructions.

If you already have a regular form of exercise you enjoy, then very good, carry on.

But here’s the link if you want to take a closer look at Body Weight Training:

Yes, that’s my affiliate link and if you decide to buy the book I will get a small payment which helps to keep Qigong15 running.

Oh and don’t let the ‘macho’ hardcore flavour of the website put you off. Their usual clientele isn’t Qigong practitioners! Read it and you’ll see what I mean =)

Listen, when you combine Qigong with good nutrition and healthy exercise you create an environment within you that can weather any storm.

Whatever you do, just get off your gluteus ass-maximus and do something.

Until tomorrow.

Kindest regards