Ways to follow the recommendations (part 1)

This is mainly for me to track my progress and physical activity, but hopefully you can learn something too and maybe get inspired to try something new.

I decided that I want to better understand what following the recommendations for physical activity actually is like. So what I will try to do is to document my exercise during the year and try to set it up in different ways, and see how it affects me. Also, while out for a walk, I met this absolutely wonderful cat. In my opinion this is what constitutes acceptable click-bait, so don’t be mad.

Let’s first take a quick look at the exercise I did during the week. If you want to see the mobility exercises they are available here.

I ran 5 times for a total of 152 minutes:

It wasn’t that challenging since I’m used to running. But I will try to do it a bit differently next week. Running three times for 30 minutes and one time for 60 minutes. This is so that I can get either one more day for resistance exercise or a day off. My HRR% (explained below) was around 55-75. This means that I technically did more than the recommendations required, but this almost cannot be helped because I run a lot in the forest, which easily raises your pulse above 60% of HRR.

I did resistance exercise two times:

This is a way I don’t usually train and I will adjust it for the next week. I did 3 sets for all exercises and 5-15 reps with 2-3 minutes of rest between sets. In total each workout took 38 minutes including warm-up: jumping rope for about 5 minutes (non-consecutively) and 2 easy sets of each exercise. For next week I will do 8 exercises instead of 6, because I think it won’t do any harm.

So that was it. Under here is some information about me you can use if you want to compare your exercise to mine and the recommendations in short.

Fitbit stats week 32

Steps average: 15021/day
Weight: 183 lbs (Monday morning)
Sleep: 6h49m/night
Resting pulse: 51
VO2-max estimate: 47-51

Recommendations in short

Cardiovascular exercise:
150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise.
Moderate: 40-59% of HRR
Intense: 60-74% of HRR
Walk at least 7000 steps per day.

Resistance exercise:
8-12 repetitions at around 70-84% of your maximum capability. 10 exercises targeting all major muscle groups. At least 2 times a week.


Mobility exercise:
Static or dynamic stretching for all major muscle groups 2 times a week.


HRR%:
To get the % take your pulse during activity (PDA) minus your resting pulse (RP), the divide that number with max pulse (MP) minus RP. So (PDA-RP)/(MP-RP ). Here is an example from one of my runs this week.
My MP: 187 (207-0,7*28)
My RP: 51
My PDA: 129
187-51=136 and 129-51=75
75/136=55%

The forest in the morning

If you go out at times when other aren’t typically awake you see your environment in new, yet old ways. Consider those times you wake up early, maybe for an interview or a trip, a late night after the club, wandering the streets with friends in ninth grade. The empty streets shine in another light, and I’m not talking about street lights. So it is, as well, with the forest in the morning.

There is something special about early morning, don’t you agree? If you haven’t spent the early hours of the morning alone in the forest you should. I strongly recommend it. You could also bring a friend or a loved one, I’m not opposed to it. Anyway. In the forest, silence isn’t the same, because of course, it is never silent.

You could say that literal silence is unnatural, at least on earth (Aliens taught me that “In space no one can hear you scream”  I’m pretty sure silence is natural there). To me, the silence of the forest and your footsteps is true silence for the mind.

The silence of the forest reminds me of hiking with my family, with my class, larping and staying awake all night talking with friends (I can’t remember what we talked about but it must have been important since they left so many emotional traces in me). 

I have been taking a lot of walks this summer. Mostly during the day or evenings. Because while I like to wake up early; going out of the house before six takes a lot of willpower.

But those times I do go out early, I always feel better during the day. The forest in the morning is like getting a shot of something strong. Nothing illegal mind you. I’m a teetotaler.

I’m also excited for the winter. It’s not that I like the cold so much (it’s better than too hot though).

But because, even though the view will be diametrically different than now, I know it will be beautiful.

Sensationalizing Solid Science

I worked hard to not write 3000 words for this article. Enjoy my ranting.

My phone regularly pings me with news from outlets that publish articles in areas that interest me. As may be obvious from my blog, physiology is one of those areas. So when a press titled “Why strength training might come at the expense of endurance muscles” was pushed on me the other week, my ears pricked up. 


That’s how ears look when they prick up.

This is exactly the kind of headline journalists and fitness experts love to read and use as the basis for articles that grossly misinterpret the mechanisms of exercise. So I wrote directly to professor Cristoph Handschin, author of the original research, titled “BDNF is a mediator of glycolytic fiber-type specification in mouse skeletal muscle”, on twitter. By the way, that is not a sexy title. Very interesting to me, but not to the public at large.

Anyway: I wrote to him on twitter. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it’s a fantastic place to talk to scientists directly. I won’t divulge all of our conversation here (you can find it on my twitter) but he said two things that stood out to me (I’m paraphrasing): “Do not worry about interference when exercising” and “In terms of understanding the molecular basis of exercise adaptation we, like Jon Snow know nothing”.

In my opinion this is very far from the press release headline, which leaves a lot to the imagination when it shouldn’t. The press release itself only mentions that the trials were on mice once, in the fifth paragraph. 

And here is an excerpt from near the end of the article: 

“The new knowledge gained about the myokine BDNF also provides a possible explanation for the decrease in endurance musculature seen as a result of strength training.”

What are you talking about? This makes it sound like the effect is instant and applicable to anyone. After that it does mention that this is “already taken into account for high-performance sports”. But it doesn’t mention that this is not applicable to a normal person.

Heard about specificity? You get good at what you train. If you want to do champion level weights, running a marathon a day will impact it negatively, and vice versa. But this is nothing new, and this study really is not about that.

At most you could say “A mechanism behind the specification of muscle fibers has been identified in mice – This could provide part of the answer to why you can’t be a champion of endurance and strength at the same time”. Maybe. Remember what Handschin said: We don’t know.

The dangers of using the language in this press release is very nicely illustrated by one of the comments on twitter:
“This simply means that you cannot be an endurance champion and strength champion at the same time. For the rest of us a strength focused training is much more useful in general (also in physiotherapy!).” – Written by a student of Biomedical Informantics, not a doctor of physiotherapy.

How I feel when I read exercise advice from people who have no scientific basis for their opinion.

Handschin, the author, replies to this tweet, commenting that he agrees with the first part (about being a champion), in fact this was the point of the press release, but disagrees with the second part (about resistance training being ”better”). I agree with Handschin, he is of course much more knowledgeable than me on the topic, but we both agree that the health benefits of Cardiovascular Endurance are proven and worth pursuing.

For someone who likes to peruse YouTube and other media for fitness information, cardio is so often ignored, often put aside, in fitness because it’s not as conducive to building muscle. I hate pitting different types of exercise against each other because I think you need both, and there is no doubt: They yield different benefits and you will want both as you age.

This is clear: scientific information is often misunderstood, and by using sensational titles we don’t do anyone a favor. 

Little known fact: Cardio is better for weight-loss than resistance training, in contrast to what many seem to believe.

The goal of the original research was to identify causes for muscle atrophy, not investigate if resistance training interferes with endurance training. You should, and there’s no doubt, do both endurance training and resistance training. There is a consensus on this. I hope there is also a consensus that we need to avoid writing sensational headlines.

Did I mention I have Twitter and Instagram?
Instagram
Twitter

Picture attribution

”lost”by pdam2 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

”Ears”by sara.lauderdale is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Introducing: Recommendations for Physical Activity

I want to preface this by saying that my perspective on exercise is long term. I want myself, and you, to live a long healthy life. Thus, I won’t be giving advice on how to maximize your training for performance. My target is not athletes, but people who do exercise as a means to live a long healthy life. The recommendations in Sweden are largely based on guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine. Let’s start off with a rant:

Hello there! Do you know what the recommendations for physical activity is for adults? For elders? For adolescents? You may have heard that 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week is a milepost good for health, and that you should also do strength training in addition. While these are true they fall woefully short of actually understanding the recommendations. Here is a thing: people don’t understand how important exercise is for health. Yes, everyone knows that it’s important but they DO NOT understand. I know that E = MC2 but let’s be honest: I don’t understand it. It’s the same with exercise for most people, and in large part me.

Then again. A lot of people don’t need to understand exactly why exercise is so good for their health. Maybe they built habits early, have an environment conducive to exercise or just knowing that it’s good, is enough for them. Other people have been to the doctor and heard the words “If you don’t change you will die early” and take it to their heart (literally), they may understand. My goal here isn’t to make you understand, because I’m not 100 percent sure I understand all of it myself. Instead my goal is to learn by offering you my understanding and stance on the recommendations for exercise.

Before we get into that though: One of the largest challenges when it comes to health professionals trying get people moving is habits built at a young age. Old habits die hard, and they usually triumph over common sense. When we are young our bodies are strong. They are adaptable and can take a lot of punishment. And so we don’t see how detrimental a sedentary lifestyle is in the long term. Even when we see our parents crumble under the weight of a sedentary life we will often not make the right connection and wake up.

In addition. The school system usually never really taught us the importance of fitness. We were taught that exercise is going to the gym or doing sports, not that it is vital for our health, which is far mor important than competition. To be clear, I’m sure they told us that it’s important for health, but they didn’t make us understand.

But let’s veer away from the topic of getting people to do PA and habit building, and instead focus on what the recommendations actually are so you, if you feel so inclined, can pass the knowledge (and understanding along). First of all there are four areas of recommendations which we will take a quick look at. “To do every day”, “Aerobic exercise 150 minutes per week”, “Strength/Mobility” and “Things to do less of”. For simplicity we focus on adults in this text.

The recommendations in full can be found here:
http://www.yfa.se/fyss/vad-ar-fyss/

This is a picture I took of myself walking around the local the other day. I also read online that having pictures make articles easier on the eye.

What to do every day

You should walk more. This is independent of physical exercise. I call it ”movement”, and it’s one of the five fundamental pillars of longevity (The pillars in my opinion: Movement, Exercise, Food, Sleep, Meaning) you should consider. Obviously Movement and Exercise both are physical activity, but to me, as concepts, they represent different things and using different terms make it easier for me to talk about them. Walking up stairs, going out with the dog, a promenade in the park or forest, these are all good movement based activities. It’s almost impossible to do too much movement, but you know intuitively that if you walk for 12 hours straight you will be very tired the next day. You also have a life to take care of and can’t dedicate that much time to moving. That said, if you find yourself doing too much of this, you have a lot of free time and I envy you. I walk around 18-19k steps per day and I’m not close to reach an unhealthy limit. Of course this varies if you have certain illnesses or conditions, but most people don’t move nearly enough and can readily do more.

What do at least 150 minutes a week

I have an app that gives me the recommendation to get 150 “heart points” every week. The problem is that it counts taking a walk as exercise and thus I reach 150 points the second day of the week. It’s very important to distinguish between “Movement” and “Aerobic Exercise”. The recommendations by FYSS 2017 is 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 of intensive. The thing about moderate activity is that you need to reach at least 40 percent of something called your Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) which is ”(Max pulse – Resting Pulse)x0,4+Resting Pulse”. For me that is 110 beats per minute. However, I’d be foolish to think that is enough. When you train aerobic you want your heart to beat at its full stroke volume, which is at about 50 percent of HRR. So for me that would be about 125 beats per minute. If you’re young, that limit may be as high as 140. If your heart’s not beating at it’s full stroke volume, you don’t challenge it. You heart is likely the weakest link in the oxygen transport chain. Making your heart stronger can take a long time, but you also benefit from it if you take a break from exercise for a while. Your central capacity, the heart, takes longer to atrophy than your local capacity, your muscles which can sometimes feel like they’re gone before you even think about it, but also build (relatively) quickly. This is one of the reasons coming back after a while quickly feels invigorating. So you need at least 150 minutes of activity taxing enough to reach 50 percent of your HRR in my opinion. This can be in the form of running, cycling, skiing etc. I suppose if you lift weights enough during a week you may also reach an aerobic state for the required amount of time. To understand it more simply: if you’re not sweating and panting while you do aerobic exercise, you’re probably not getting enough of a challenge. 

Strength/mobility

These are probably the most easy to forget about for most people, because they require more thinking and engagement than going out for a run or sitting on a bicycle. On the flip-side, a lot of people like this and instead forget about Aerobic Exercise. Anyway. Strength is built on a few concepts: individuality, specificity, reversibility, variation and progressive overload (which, in my opinion, sometimes are wrongly separated in Swedish to Progression and Overload). These must be applied to your training which should occur at least 2 times a week. The importance of this, as with Aerobic Exercise, cannot be understated and cannot easily be substituted with other tasks you do in daily life. The two times a week is a minimum for you. If you do less, chances are you aren’t doing nearly enough for your health. It’s difficult for me to say too much about this right now, as I’ve only been doing resistance training for about two years. Yeah, I should have started MUCH earlier. As I previously stated, a young body will compensate for a lack of exercise; I know I am paying the price. That said, it’s never too late to start and these last two years have had an effect on all areas of my life, a positive effect that is. Point is: follow the recommendations.

When it comes to mobility the scientific literature is less clear on the effects long term, but you should be able to move your limbs through full range of motion to live an unhindered and healthy life. A good way to check your ability to move is to look at the movement of the joint at each side. If one has a larger range of motion than the other, chances are you need to do some flexibility exercises. Comparing with others can also work, provided they have a normal range of motion. I think yoga is good for gaining mobility, but I’m no expert (yet).

What to do less of

It sounds easy: be less sedentary. And you’ve heard it before so many times. Here is an important fact: being still too much is an independent risk factor when it comes to early death and sickness. This means that all the exercise you do on your free time has little impact on the negative effects of sitting for too long. You need movement as outlined in the “What to do every day” section of this article. According to WHO physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor in early death. The leading causes are High blood pressure, Tobacco use and High blood glucose, two of which can be caused by physical inactivity. Get this: inactivity is higher on the ranking of leading causes of death than being obese (although the two are of course correlated). So for the love of yourself, and those close to you: try to move a few minutes every hour even if you have a desk job. Your family, friends and society will thank you for it later, as will you (thank yourself that is).

Here are the recommendations visualized as a pyramid (picture from Motivation för Motion).

These are just recommendations

You should do more than 150 minutes of aerobic exercise if you want to maximize your health benefits. Of course there is a limit, that once you pass, the risk for injuries increase. This is called Dose-Response between physical activity, health and risk, as outlined in this graph:

I made this beautiful graph myself. We are all lucky I didn’t try to become a graphic designer.

This of course, is a simplification of the truth – because as humans the complete truth is always just out of reach. The curve is different for different sports but to me, as someone who want to advice people on how to exercise, the moderate dose is almost always safe (except for cases of contra-indications, which is another article). In my opinion, if you follow the recommendations to the letter you will reach a moderate amount on the dose response graph. But most people don’t. I didn’t either until recently. It’s so easy to narrow in on one type of exercise, be it strength or aerobic. But ”Lagom is best” as the saying goes.


These are the sources for the information in this article.
FYSS 2017 (2016) – general recommendations read it here for free, but if you want to study physiotherapy you should consider buying it
Motivation för Motion (2014) – general information on exercise
Nya konditionstest på cykel (2011) – effects of exercise on the heart
Physiology of Sports and Exercise (2015) – strength training
ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (2018) – mobility
WHO: https://www.who.int/topics/risk_factors/en/ – leading risks of early death

Follow me here
Instagram
Twitter



The search for passion

tl:dr – If you don’t have the passion to read a 1000+ words long blog post, then maybe you should focus on another medium for finding inspiration? Did you know I have twitter and Instagram? And maybe even YouTube in the future!

Some lecturers we have had so far just seem made to do what they do. Brilliant scientists, masters of their fields and pioneers. Although not all of them are passionate about lecturing or communication, they all seem have love for their scientific and/or clinical work in common. Through the years they have been grinding even when the going gets tough, and the going will always get tough sometimes. No wonder they are the ones doing the lectures for us!

Then we have most of the rest: the people who do their jobs well. They are the most common occurrence, much more common than incompetence or brilliance. You know when you go to work after school or during weekends, or take a job over summer just to pay the bills. Some people live their lives like that after earning a profession. And yes, I think most of us are guilty of half-assing work, whether it be school or an actual job, sometimes. But if you only work to make money, you’re most likely sacrificing your health, which is what I’m all about.

As someone who waited until 27 to study something that I actually wanted to do, I can confidently tell you to NOT commit to something you don’t have passion for. You don’t have to make my mistakes (or maybe you do, in which case go ahead!), at least not the way I did them.

At my gymnasium I studied Society/Global which meant journalism was a natural line of work to go into. So first thing I did was to study journalism, with a focus on science, at Södertörn University for three years. That was a mistake (one of many). While I did turn in all the assignments, got passing grades on examinations, read the books and showed up on time, I still was a terrible student. There were many reasons for this. One of them was that I was terrible at studying. I had bad habits from school and never learned better ways (if they taught studying techniques I missed it). But the most important part is: I had no passion for it. While journalism takes a lot of skill and dedication, the most important factor is: really wanting to do it. The last part is the most important because you can’t really learn it.

Sure there is a way to work as a journalist and “phone it in”. You see them working for less reputable sites where click-bait proliferates. Click-bait can be useful as a tool to subvert a reader but now it’s mostly used as a hook to catch clicks. My point is, if I had felt: I’ve studied to be a journalist, now I have to do it. That would have been my fate, because I do not have the drive that is a prerequisite of a great journalist. I did some (very little) work as a journalist after university. Instead I tried a lot of things, such as making music, writing (fiction) and working many different jobs. Now, at 28, and studying a program that I really enjoy and feel passion for it seems I was always building towards working with people and health. That fact that I’ve written more since giving up on journalism should at least say something. 

While there is a world of difference between a physiotherapist and a journalist that is “just working for works sake” (if a physiotherapist does a bad job, people get hurt really fast) I still think there is some driving force lacking in a lot of people. In fact, I think most of them could do a lot better, and not only for the patients, but for themselves. I want them to do better. I want both the patient and the physio feeling invigorated and inspired after a meeting.

“I’m not skilled/smart/social enough”

… are things people sometimes uses as an excuse not to be better. First of all: what? If you believe yourself when you denigrate yourself, I can tell you that you are wrong. What would you do if I came up to you and told you “You’re not good enough to do anything”. You would punch me in the face. I’m not telling you to punch yourself in the face if you’re mean to yourself, but I’m telling you that you would morally be in the right to do so. In my opinion.

Now: if you feel like you’re not good enough to do something. Think about it. Is it really your ability that is too low? If you don’t have the passion for what you do, then no skill in the world is enough to be great. So maybe the problem is that you don’t want to do it, more than that you can’t. I’m 100% sure that I technically have the ability to be a journalist. I’m not telling myself I’m not good enough. Although it felt like that in the past at times, now I know better. If you have enough brain capacity to process this text, you have the ability to succeed in any field if you take it on with passion.

And don’t be afraid to try different things and fail. Some people that meet me get the sense that I know so much about so many things. The fact is: I know a little about many things, because I’ve tried them. You notice I’m not doing those things for a living. That is because I failed. I didn’t use to think of them as failures, but since not being as afraid to fail, seeing them as that only makes me stronger. Let me share a short anecdote:

I used to work home service at two different places. One a few minutes from home, and one in the city. One night I worked late and, my brain not functioning correctly, I brought some keys home (this is of course stupid and not allowed). At night they needed the keys and I got let go the next morning. My boss was quick to sweep it under the rug because while the whole thing was my fault, it also exposed two huge holes in their routines: a) clients need to have a main and an alarm key (which they didn’t) and b) they didn’t have the numbers to call the extra working assistants such as me (and if they had, I would have brought them the keys in a few minutes). By failing I learned a few things about myself. Making mistakes suck and I don’t want to do that. But I kept working at home service (the other place) because while I wasn’t passionate about the work, I was passionate about helping people in person.

Failing wasn’t great, and I don’t recommend that anyone should fuck up that hard.

My point is: don’t be scared to try different things and fail while trying to find your thing. Don’t follow an easy path because it’s comfortable. If your heart isn’t in it, you will feel it, and you should move on. But if you keep coming back to something, even if it is difficult or hard. Then maybe you do have passion for it. Don’t be afraid to sit down, and just think about it. And if you find that no: I don’t. Make like Elsa and Let It Go.

I’m not a great physiotherapist. Partly because I’m just a student. But I won’t be able to use that excuse for long. I am going to become a great at what I want to do because I care about it. And so are you (going to become great that is). You just have to start by searching for passion.

Not that kind of passion, although it tastes nice.

Let’s end with some punchy  punchlines:

  • You can be better than good!
  • Whatever your flaws, you have what it takes to become great
  • The process of learning is: try, fail, try, fail

If you keep reading my blog and if I keep writing it, you will be able to learn more from my mistakes. So you have that to look forward to!

Follow me here
Instagram
Twitter

I chose to study this summer.

Svensk version.

In the beginning, studying over summer felt a bit like ripping open the skin off my palms. I’m taking a course that is called KI Summer School in Medical Research. At first, after a long term of studies, it was a bit like walking straight into a wall. Just thinking about reading numerous scientific studies induced pain…

And that’s an easy study to read!

Physical pain.

Firstly, you have to teach yourself to use new programs (depending on what you study I suppose), secondly you have to teach yourself new ways to think (regardless of what you study) and lastly you need to do it almost all by yourself.

Doing K.I.S.S. is not like a normal course at the Physiotherapy program. The assignments are: make a presentation, a poster, and write a report (following the IMRaD structure). Have fun! During the first week we had lectures on statistics, creativity, p-value, and much more. The lecturers were all really fantastic and inspiring. After that week I felt ready to go! I was so young and naive…

After that the real work began. Happy and healthy middle-aged people came (primarily parents of my friends who were happy to do their part for science!) to the lab to do tests with accelerometers and when they left they got a few to wear at home for a week.

Then came the hard part: analyse the data. I spent about three weeks not really understanding what I was doing. I watched large Excel arcs filled to the brim with numbers, columns and rows. I read manuals to understand what axis number 1, 2, and, 3 represented (Vertical, Horizontal and, Lateral), which was surprisingly difficult, complicated words like ”Vector Magnitude”, sorting all of the information in an intuitive way… That’s when my palms were bleeding.

Then… They just stopped and. My brain was learning something while (even though) I was banging my head against the wall for weeks. What at first felt impossible started feeling, at least doable. A weight fell of my shoulders.

The course isn’t over yet. But after having forced myself to do most things myself without constant hand holding, and a lot of ”if, ands, and buts” the report, the presentation or the poster so difficult. Designing a poster is something new but it doesn’t have to be revolutionary. I’ve held presentations before. And after reading a few studies and reports doing it myself doesn’t feel as difficult.

One of the most important things that I understod: Don’t put to high demands on yourself, be realistic. My study don’t have to be ground breaking and my assignments don’t have to be perfect. I’m at my first year at the Physiotherapy program. Nobody expects me to be ready for doctoral studies. Having discipline is easier when I don’t expect myself to be the best. Then I just have to work and do as well as possible. ”As well as possible” is relative to how good I am in actuality, and I’m not that knowledgeable. Yet. The skin on my hands have hardened and even though I can’t do 20 pull-ups, it hurts less.

So now that the stress is down, I can finally relax and put a few hours on writing something for my new blog (this) which is about studying to become a physiotherapist and about inspiration to live a healthy life. I hope my thoughts gave you something.

Att känna mig lugn inför alla uppgifter jag har kvar att genomföra är inte den enda värdefulla erfarenheten jag tar med mig från K.I.S.S, men det är ett annat inlägg.

Calm and discipline (not perfect but a bit more) aren’t the only perks of taking this course. I have other valuable experiences and possibilites, but that’s for another post.

I have social media!
Instagram
Twitter

Jag valde att plugga på sommaren.

English version.

Att studera över sommaren känns i början lite som att slita upp huden på handflatorna. Kursen jag går heter KI Summer School in Medical Research. I början, efter en lång termin av studier, kändes det lite som att gå in i en vägg. Att bara fundera över att läsa otaliga långa studier framkallade smärta.

Och det här är en lätt studie att läsa!

Fysisk smärta.

Du måste lära dig nya program, beroende på vad studien handlar om, nya sätt att tänka (oavsett vad studien handlar om) och att verkligen ta tag i allt själv.

Att gå K.I.S.S. är inte som en vanlig kurs på Fysioterapiprogrammet. Uppgifterna är: gör en presentation, gör en poster, skriv en rapport och följ IMRaD. Have fun! Vi fick en kursvecka där föreläsare talade om statistik, p-värde, kreativitet, och mycket mer. Efter det kände jag mig redo att köra! I was so young and naive….

Därefter började det riktiga arbetet. Glada, friska medelålders personer kom (främst föräldrar till mina vänner som gick med på att ställa upp för vetenskapen) till labbet och gjorde tester med accelerometrar och när de gick, fick de med sig några hem för att bära under en vecka.

Efter det kom nästa steg: analysera datan. Jag spenderade ungefär tre veckor med att inte riktigt förstå något av vad jag höll på med. Jag tittade på långa excelark fyllda med siffror i kolumner och rader. Läsa manualer för att förstå vilken axel nummer 1, 2 och 3 representerade (Vertikal, Horisontell och Lateral), vilket var oväntat svårt, och lära sig komplicerade ord som ”Vector Magnitude”, och sortera all information så att det gick att ens komma åt den. Då var mina handflator som mest uppfläkta.

Sedan… Ömmade det inte lika mycket. Min hjärna lärde sig något medans (trots att) jag satt och bankade mitt huvud mot väggen i flera veckor. Det som en gång kändes omöjligt började kännas i alla fall görligt. En vikt föll bort från mina axlar.

Kursen är inte klar än. Men efter att ha tvingats ta tag i det mesta själv utan någon som håller mig i handen hela vägen, och många ”om och men” känns inte rapporten, presentationen eller postern så svåra. Att designa en poster är något nytt men den måste inte vara revolutionerande. Hålla i presentationer har jag gjort förut. Och efter att ha läst flera studier och rapporter av andra känns det inte så komplicerat att göra själv.

En av de viktigaste sakerna jag lärde mig: Sätt inte så höga krav på dig själv, sätt realistiska krav. Att inse dels att min studie inte måste vara revolutionerande och dels att mina uppgifter inte måste bli perfekta. Jag går första året på Fysioterapiprogrammet. Ingen förväntar sig att jag ska vara redo att börja med doktorandstudier. Det är lättare att ha disciplin när jag känner att jag måste vara bäst. Då är det bara att arbeta och göra så bra som möjligt. ”Så bra som möjligt” är relativt till hur bra jag faktiskt är, och jag är inte så kunnig eller insatt än. Huden på mina handflator har hårdnat och även om jag inte kan göra 20 pull-ups än, gör det lite mindre ont.

Så nu när stressen har lagt sig lite, kan jag slappna av och lägga några timmar här: på min nya blogg som delvis handlar om att studera till fysioterapeut och delvis om att inspirera till en hälsosam livsstil. Jag hoppas att du får ut något av att läsa mina tankar!

Att känna mig lugn inför alla uppgifter jag har kvar att genomföra är inte den enda värdefulla erfarenheten jag tar med mig från K.I.S.S, men det är ett annat inlägg.

Jag har sociala medier också, om du är intresserad:
Instagram
Twitter