In the zone

After reading about the dangers of excess iron, I have added twice-per-year blood donations to my health regimen. Men need a way to dump iron for heart health, and consistent blood donation is the easiest way. Bloodletting as an actual health strategy tells you a lot about how our ancestors used to live. They spilled so much blood hunting wooly mammoths and fighting neighboring tribes that our biology evolved to reward blood loss.

My donation sessions are also a bit of an ego boost. At registration, the staff always flatters me about my rope-like veins to get me to do their double-donation of red blood cells. Then last week, my pre-screen was halted when my resting heart rate showed 46 BPM. The technician asked if I exercise regularly. In fact, I do. He needed to call the doctor at HQ for permission to continue my session, which was granted.

Staying fit is largely an anonymous, thankless task. But every once in a while you receive this kind of modest acknowledgment. Still, though my good health reflects well on me, I know I’m no genetic superhuman. These moments are also an indictment of the piss poor condition of everyone else. I shouldn’t be such an outlier that I’m disrupting the system.

Beyond weights, my workout for cardio conditioning is high intensity: a 30 min run (Zone 4 and 5), or several rounds of hitting the heavy bag, or a jump rope session, or hauling ass up the stairs of my 43 floor condo building. I tried to get into the steady and sustained Zone 2 work, but it literally hurt. Sitting on a stationary bike seat for 90 minutes is a giant pain in the butt, and for me, a deal-breaker. I seem to be doing fine without it.

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