Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gentle Exercise

My father was a track star in high
school, and continued jogging
almost every day. In his 30's, he
was still a fantastic distance runner,
placing well in running competitions.
By age 42, his knees were done
and he had to stop running completely.

A female friend from high school
was also a track star. She, too, kept
running afterward, staying very "fit"
in her 30's, but suffering multiple
health problems she considered
"unrelated." To this day, she denies
she has any health problems, but
continues going to the doctor for
all sorts of issues.

At age 38, I can tell story after story
about "fitness" fanatics who felt they
needed their hard exercise-- running,
biking, weight-lifting, etc-- in order
to stay healthy and look good. But
the reality is hard exercise isn't that
good for you after age 30. Sure, you
can still do it in your 30's, but you're
causing yourself problems. And in
your 40's, the pain you feel from
hard exercise is your body telling
you "hard exercise is wrong for you."

Most generally, people exercise to
look good. But if you've read my blog
or listened to other health professionals,
trimming body fat is a dietary function.

So if you want to be healthy, and exercise
in a suitable, sustainable manner, you need
to exercise gently. Chinese calisthenics like
tai chi and QiGong gently work the entire
body, including the cardiovascular system
because they include super-special breathing
practices. They also strengthen the trunk
(build so-called "core strength") because
they include postural practice. Your hard
exercise has neither postural training or
breathing training.

If you're over age 35, you need to take a
good look around and see who USED TO
exercise hard, but can't anymore. You need
to look into the crystal ball and understand
in earnest that hard exercise is not sustainable.
In fact, it's not even what's keeping you looking

Keep exercising hard, and you will plague
yourself with pain, health problems and
deteriorating joints.

If you don't exercise at all, you need to start.

Exercise gently, and you will live longer
and healthier. I beg you to listen to me,
and act now.

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