You can teach English in South America with no experience, and without speaking Spanish. They don't give you much in return, but it's a great way to explore a new place and experience new cultures and people.
Personally, I plan to stick to the linear Madcow 5x5 and then switch to the periodized Madcow 5x5 after progression slows. Somehow, I'm still making weekly gains, despite being over 400 lbs on my squat and DL maxes and 300 lbs on bench. If you eat enough, you'll continue to grow. My old workout buddy was maxing the squat with eight 45s on each side, and he insisted that he owed most of that ability to the 8,000 calories a day he consumed (not to mention the testosterone). Amazingly, he wasn't fat, and still had ab definition.
That's exactly what I did, increasing my speed and distance incrementally, I highly recommend it! Especially since I don't think you're training to run a marathon or become an Olympic sprinter.
I am familiar with intermittent fasting, but I'm not sure that walking while fasted will do you much good. For IF to be truly effective, you have to burn all of the glycogen out of your muscles and liver, which actually takes quite a bit of time / effort (some people can finish marathons without depleting their glycogen stores). Some fitness gurus advocate hitting the gym after waking up, and skipping breakfast. The idea is, you are already low on glycogen, and a hard workout will diminish your remaining glycogen stores, forcing your body to burn fat. The problem with walking while in a fasted state is it's just not enough exercise to deplete your body's glycogen stores and force it to burn fat. If you jogged after waking up and waited to eat breakfast until after your morning jog then you might see some results. From what I hear, it is possible to see gains with IF (thus cutting bodyfat while seeing strength gains), but I have no personal experience with it, and can only speak from what I've heard.
Well, sprinting and jogging are two different kinds of exercise. When you sprint, you are tapping into your anaerobic system, while jogging taps into the aerobic system. Sprinting promotes fast-twitch muscle growth (the larger, more powerful muscles) while jogging improves your cardiovascular health and promotes slow-twitch muscle growth (smaller but higher endurance muscles).
That said, it really depends on what you're going for. It's worth mentioning that in the old days, even marathon runners did not do the excessively long and slow endurance jogs that everyone advocates today. This is considered to be one reason that despite an explosion in popularity for the sport, the US has not produced marathon runners in the same class as those in decades gone by. Back in the 60s and 70s, most marathoners trained for shorter distances on inclines, with less time, and more speed. Running for a long time at a relatively slow pace is hard on the body, in many ways (joints, bones, muscles, and even the immune system).
It depends on your goals, but in my opinion, it's best to up the pace and shorten the time/distance to achieve a better all-around fitness level. Who wants to be ALL endurance or ALL power? A combination of the two is most useful in the real world, and allows for better overall health.
Now, on the flip-side, I don't know what your goals are, but I wouldn't do pure sprinting, and certainly not on a treadmill. Treadmills take time to accelerate, taking away the explosivity of a true sprint. That explosivity is what builds the musculo-skeletal system, it also promotes growth by increasing HGH levels (some studies say by over 1,000%), testosterone, tendons, ligaments, bones, and fast-twitch (big) muscle. Sprinting regularly is a great idea, but sprinting to the exclusion of every other form of cardio fitness is a bit myopic and perhaps even counter-productive.
Why are you doing fasted walks? What is the purpose? Are you attempting to burn body fat during these walks?
If you want to avoid drinking flouridated water, the Aquasana water filters (for both the shower and your tap) are about the best on the market for the price. They remove pretty much all toxins, pollutants, microbes, and even flouride / chlorine.
The tricky thing about deadlifts is that it seems like the bar will hit your shins when you lift, but they won't. Like JayG said, get your shins right up to the bar, they'll move away as you lift.
Also, the advice to keep the chest high is good. Our spine is a bit like a crane, the spinal column can handle tremendous amounts of vertical weight, but it's not so good at handling huge offset loads. Because of this, the spinal erectors pull back on the spinal column as its arched, much like the crane in the image below. This is why you must keep your back arched at all times, weight at the top of the spine at an offset can multiply by a factor of 7 at the bottom of the spine (300 lbs is like 2100 lbs in some instances!).
@JayG: Congrats on doubling your BW on the DL!
@Chase: Doing anything in addition to squats may actually cause your improvement to slow even further. What do you have against the basic mechanics of the squat? This is one of the body's most fundamental movements!
Try Insanity, you'll shed pounds quickly and build up tremendous stamina.
What's stopping the US from remaining an economic powerhouse? There still isn't a single nation on this Earth, not even China, which can fill our shoes. Anything to the contrary is just wishful thinking, and I made my case in my previous post.
How ironic that you accuse me of making baseless claims by sharing baseless claims of your own. "Looking inwards" is exactly what led to the isolationist movement which helped to destroy our economy prior to WW2. It does not work, history has proven it, that is not just conjecture.
It is doubtful to me that ANY nation is headed in a direction for its own good. Not China, not the Europeans, not the US, not the Commonwealth nations, not India, not Japan, not the UAE, not even South America. Why? Because of a globalized economy which allows a select few to rule over the world's wealth without having to swear allegiance to a flag or pay tribute to a government. That being said, it will still be a long time before we see the heads roll and blood in the streets. In the meantime it will be business as usual, with the US maintaining its hegemonic position at the top of the heap, even if the balance of power moves further east. If you and I are still surfing the internet 15 years from now under these same circumstances, I'm going to have to say I told you so. Despite terrible economic upheaval in the 70s and 80s, the US is still doing well overall, and I'm sure many would have doubted our future back then as you are now.
What happened to the mighty Soviets? They collapsed. What happened to the mighty Japanese economy which threatened to eclipse our own? It continues to do well, but after numerous crises in the 90s and even recently they've failed to dethrone us. What about China, and India? Actually travel to those countries, experience the sheer poverty facing the vast majority of their people outside of the economic hubs and then tell me they're an imminent threat to our future. What about the Eurozone nations? Only a few years ago they were supposed to be the way of the future, with a larger collective GDP than even the US, and at least as much skill, innovation, and education, they were supposed to sway the global economy back over the Atlantic. Look at them now... Yet, despite all of our economic problems, we're still better off than most of those nations. Who is going to replace us?
No one is going to use the Renminbi as a global reserve currency, not now anyway. When the going gets tough, people still retreat to US Treasury Bonds, and in the global market, the Dollar is not only king, it is more often than not the ONLY option. Say what you will about the state of the US, but we must not be doing as badly as other countries when investors from across the globe (yes, even China, India, Russia, and the Middle East) are sinking their money into US bonds for security amid fears that the Chinese bubble is about to burst as a result of a crashing European market. If China is so great, why aren't they taking their money there?
PS- All of this talk about China and Saudi Arabia owning the US is hogwash. The single largest creditor to the US is We The People. We collectively own almost ten times as much as China does, with well over 60%, while China owns just 7.5% of our debt.