For the last six years, I have been studying human physiology and disease pathology. As a survivor of cancer, I found myself wanting to learn everything I could about how that happened and how I could avoid ever hearing that word again. Disease(cancer) has been an incredible motivator to improve all areas of my life. Diet, exercise, sleep, you name it. Nothing stands in my way of doing everything I can to improve my odds of making my way to 120 years of age with a body that functions like a healthy middle-aged me. I don’t want to grow old or infirmed, and I surely don’t want to be physically burdensome. I want full functionality of all my physical and cognitive resources until the day I breathe my last breath.
What this means is that I have embarked in all manner of self-experimentation over the last six-plus years to figure out how to achieve my goals best.
Back in June, I added daily sauna use to my long list of self-experiment projects. Within a week, I was up to thirty(30) minutes per day, sweating profusely. Literally wringing, like a sponge, the hydration and toxins out of my body so that I could make room for new, fresh, clean, hydrating water. My goal is to do this every single day for nine months straight to simply see what there is to see, considering sauna bathing has emerged as a probable means of extending healthspan, based on compelling data from observational, interventional, and mechanistic studies. All this to improve not only my physical fitness but also the overall appearance of age in my skin through the act of sweating profusely.
What I discovered is that this is not an easy thing to do. Fifteen minutes. Twenty minutes. Easy peasy. But Thirty minutes is hard, and it takes some serious meditative focus. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to start focusing a LOT more on my breathing to see if that would help me better be able to withstand the self-imposed torture. Sure enough, it has, but still, I have struggled. And then, on Wednesday, I found it. The Zone. To my surprise, the thirty minutes actually flew by like it was fifteen. Blew me away.
I thought I had arrived and that it would be smooth sailing from here on out. But alas, one experience of finding myself in the zone did not mean that I had mastered it, and yesterday’s trip to the sauna whooped my posterior. Fortunately, though, it did teach me that I may, through practice, be able to find myself spending more time in the zone as the future unfolds. And I really hope so because thirty minutes of sauna is torture.