Fitness is the next part of a healthy life style. It is a force to be reckoned with, yet the recognition of its importance is relatively new. Even in the last century our ancestors could relate to sports, but fitness would have been a term foreign to them.
Part of this would have been the fact, that our forebears had a lot of physical activity built into their daily living. They had to work harder, walk a lot more, whereas we have the conveniences of public transportation and our own vehicles. Machines help us cope with previously heavy physical work. We enjoy it to have more free time for our recreation. This all sounds very positive, but very often all the advantages of our high-tech society are quickly turned into disadvantages.
We spend our free time sitting in front of computers and TV’s, we sit in the car to drive to the movies. We drive to an ice arena and watch the physical work out of the hockey team. We actually may spend a morning or afternoon at a ball game, but not infrequently the benefit of this activity may immediately be counterbalanced by the beer and the hot dogs afterwards!
In a guilty attempt to be fit we join a gym or health club, and we will go there twice or three times per week. For 1 ½ or 2 hours we will work out and work up a sweat. The muscle aches after weight lifting tell us, that we have been active indeed, and it justifies us to believe that we have done something good for our health and fitness: no pain – no gain, and we are sore all over! So it must be true.
But is it really ? In all likelihood the answer is no. We do need physical exercise on an ongoing basis. Cramming an overdose that makes us good and sore into three days is not the answer. What may kill you is an overall exhaustion of the adrenal glands from an overdose of stress._____________________________________________________ Regular exercise, not a deadly marathon!
Remember: the original marathon runner who arrived in the Greek capital of Athens to proclaim the victory of his army fell down dead after he had run the marathon. We need to be physically active, ideally every day of the week. This is not an impossibility: all we need is 35 minutes of a brisk walk. Strength training is also desirable. _____________________________________________________
In these 35 minutes we can do strength training, which is essential for our muscles. It is also called anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is the other part of exercise. It is important for our cardio-vascular fitness, and we can meet this demand by walking in a brisk fashion. It is not good enough to do half an hour of weight lifting or half an hour of jogging, although this will lead to cardiovascular fitness when done every day. Weight lifting and/or stretching exercises are the other part of the fitness equation that builds muscle strength (anaerobic exercises).
The success of an exercise program lies in the balance of the aerobic and the anaerobic exercises. Follow the links in the fitness table above for more on each of these topics.
A large study, the EPIC study has shown that exercise can save lives: http://nethealthbook.com/news/exercise-reduces-mortality/
1. B. Sears: “The age-free zone”.Regan Books, Harper Collins, 2000. Also see Dr. Sears’ site.
2. B. Sears: “Zone perfect meals in minutes”. Regan Books, Harper Also see Dr. Sears’ site.
3. B.J. Wilcox, D.C. Willcox and M. Suzuki: “The Okinawa Program.” Clarkson Potter,2001, N.Y., U.S.A.
4. E.L. Rossi: The psychobiology of mind-body healing. Norton &Co., 1986, N.Y., U.S.A.
5. Vitamins and Foods. Audio-Digest Family Practice Vol 49, Issue 29, Aug.7, 2001.
6. P.C. McGraw: Life strategies. 1999, Simon&Schuster Source, N.Y., U.S.A.
7. B. Sears: “The top 100 zone foods”. Regan Books, Harper Collins, 2001. Also see Dr. Sears’ site.
8. Suzanne Somers: “Breakthrough” Eight Steps to Wellness– Life-altering Secrets from Today’s Cutting-edge Doctors”, Crown Publishers, 2008