Jules Delorme

Channel Your Inner Dog     July/ August 2022 Edition

By Jules Delorme

If you have dog (and even if you don’t) you’ve probably noticed dogs running for balls or sticks, romping, and playing with each other, running along trails, and tugging on leashes. They don’t think of it as exercise, they don’t think of it as work, they think of it as play. Even old dogs try to do those things as much as they are able and if you see a fat dog, it is the human being’s doing, not the dog’s.

And yet, walk into a gym and you see people with sour straining faces exercising on machines or weights. It is in fact so much a part of gym culture that people make those faces and scream and shout even when it isn’t actually that hard, just to show how hard they’re working. You see this on runners out on the street. They’ve seen so many images of marathon runners or sprinters their faces masks of pain that they think that’s the way you’re supposed to look. Even walkers do it, both to show they’re working hard and because the quickest way to convince other people that you’re insane or that you’re an idiot is to smile for no reason at all.

A dog would be very confused by this behaviour. Anyone who lives with a dog knows how excited they get just to go for a walk and the delight they nakedly show us for just petting them. I’m not saying we should start petting each other–that would be weird–but why do we approach activity as if it is work and not play? Remember when you were a child and you just played, just ran to play tag or some other game because it was fun?

Maybe that’s how we grow old inside as well as outside. We approach every activity as if it is labour, as if it is something that we’d rather not do rather than something we get to do. Look around you. You don’t have to look far to find someone who physically can’t do the things that you can do. Even if you are severely limited in what you can do, even if you are, like me, experiencing severe pain every time you move, there is someone you can think of who can do far less.

So, at the very least, why are you not grateful that you get to do anything at all? I’m not saying you should be happy to do it every single day. I’m not saying you should always be doing whatever you’re doing with a big smile on your face. Like I said, you’ll very quickly creep other people out. But do something, and be glad you can do it. You get to do it. Any dog would be happy to do almost anything at all. Just try not to drool, lick people, or relieve yourself in public. Those things might just give other people a reason to frown.

~ Jules Delorme is a Personal Trainer & MMA Coach, julesfdelorme@gmail.com

Spice Up Your Life      June 2022 Edition

By Jules Delorme

A long long time ago people fought and killed one another over spices. They built the Spice Road. All this wasn’t just to appease their taste buds. It was because they believed spices were medicine, and it turns out they were right. It’s not medicine as we think of it today, in the sense that you take a pill or get an operation and it’s all over. It is medicine as in something you did for your entire life in order to stay healthy and to help you to fight off diseases. They can be used to help you fight disease, not to prevent it.

I grew up on a Reservation. To the Indigenous people that I grew up with, salt was pretty much the only spice. However, my Tóta, my grandmother, was also a Medicine Woman. She made me drink teas, some of which I still drink today. One, which is universal, is ginger and lemon. Yes, my grandmother, and probably yours too, was right. Ginger is an absolute cure all that will help settle the stomach, fight off viral infections, warm up your insides, and do a bunch of other things–and it tastes great! So, add it to your food. Drink it as a tea. Just get it in your body because it’s good for you.

Turmeric, a sister spice to ginger, does even more great things. It has even been shown to improve brain function. Cinnamon controls blood sugar. Black pepper is an excellent antiseptic. Garlic was once known as Russian Penicillin; it definitely helps with respiratory problems, and you can get it in a form that does not cause body odour if you’re concerned about that. Cayenne pepper improves blood flow. In fact, all peppers do something good, though you should be careful about using them too much as they can be hard on the stomach. Spices like peppermint, real vanilla or real licorice have health benefits that we’re only beginning to rediscover, admit, and talk about.

They’re not replacements for drugs, though they may help some people get off certain drugs over time. Don’t believe every claim you find on the internet or hear about. The best advice if you have specific questions is to go into one of those old school herb stores or health food places. Perhaps not the shiny supplement chains that are geared more towards bodybuilders and fitness fanatics. Usually the people there will only know about things pertaining to those things. The people working in those herb and health food stores are usually more than willing to talk to you about your questions. If you know what you want, you can find many of the more exotic or uncommon herbs at your local Asian or Middle Eastern grocer. You won’t wake up tomorrow feeling better, you might still get COVID, but add some Spice to your life and you could be on road to a better quality of life.

~ Jules Delorme is a Personal Trainer & MMA Coach, julesfdelorme@gmail.com

Smell the...Everything      May 2022

By Jules Delorme

The flowers are blooming. The trees are sprouting leaves. And for the first time in two years, we can go outside and really enjoy the air. That doesn’t mean we’re safe. But it does mean we can breathe. It does mean we can get outside. And more importantly, though it may not occur to most of us, we can get out in nature.

Even those of us who live in the city can go the local park and just enjoy the air. Why is that important? Well, it turns out there are studies that show that people who spend time in nature are healthier. They tend to be calmer. They tend to sleep better. They tend to get sick less often. As a Personal Trainer of course I want to tell you to come to the gym. I don’t make any money if you don’t. But one of the things that I do with most of my clients is to take them outside to work out in a park of even in the patch of grass next to the gym. Why? Well, I love to be outside and I hate to be inside. And variety is the spice of life. But my trainees will tell me how much more fun, how time just seems to fly when they’re outside.

And, here’s a little secret. You don’t need a trainer for that. You don’t need a gym at all. Walking is the healthiest form of exercise there is. It’s low impact, reduces stress, especially when done in nature, is great for the heart, and can burn fat. Running is good too, but be careful. It puts a lot of stress of the joints and most long-distance runners are the opposite of healthy. They stress their bodies to absolute limit. There’s other reasons for doing it. But don’t do it for your health. There are plenty of Tai Chi or Yoga classes that are held outdoors. Be careful about Cross Fit or ParCore in the long term for the same reasons as long-distance running. A little can be good. Too much can be very bad.

Dogs are great because they get you outside and can remind you to take joy in being outside. They also get dirty which it turns out is great for the immune system. And that’s the thing about nature. Yes, it’s beautiful. But it’s also dirty. It also stinks. Which it turns out wakes up the senses. We get used to the stink of the city but the stink of nature is a whole different thing and there’s a reason why dogs and other animals spend so much time smelling things. Smell is information. Smell is life. It wakes up the mind. Maybe you’re not ready to roll around on the grass like a dog but taking a walk in the woods isn’t just pleasant. It’s healthy. So, get out there and smell the… Not just the roses… All that nature has to offer.

~ Jules Delorme is a Personal Trainer & MMA Coach, julesfdelorme@gmail.com