Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sitting Duck, Sitting Bull, Sitting Bad

For almost five years, I have believed
that sitting is the worst thing we do
to ourselves. I've been telling friends
and family how we sit most of our lucid
lives-- at breakfast, in the car, at work,
at lunch, at dinner, and in front of the TV--
and that this sitting is doing all kinds of damage.

And now it's out:
New studies show
Sitting Can Be Deadly

These studies suggest that prolonged
sitting sharply inhibits the body from
regulating glucose and fat, which could
lend knowledge to the diabetes epidemic.

They also suggest that exercise may not
really help those who sit for periods longer
than four hours.
(you can read the AP story above...)

In the last five years, I have created all my
own sub-theories, which differ from those
in the studies.

First, the studies take the sedentary angle,
meaning, they focus on the fact that while
sitting, the body is stationary. Although this
is true, my focus is on blockage, meaning,
that while sitting, blood and energy are kept
from circulating smoothly.

I know, I sound all "hocus pocus" again;
so let's try a drill, and I'll explain more:

Sit on a hard wood chair or a hard bench.
After a few minutes, try to figure out which
butt cheek you're sitting on MORE. I promise
that you're biased toward one cheek (you mostly
likely TWIST at the waist also).

This butt-cheek-bias is called imbalance.
It is a very bad habit that goes unnoticed.
Like your bias to one leg while standing,
your butt-cheek-bias is causing muscular-
stabilization zig-zag up your spine and
uneven stiffening of your hips. These in turn
cause impedance of visceral production and
blood flow through the joints.
THIS IS BLOCKAGE.

In other terms, it causes one hip to degrade
faster than the other, one knee to degrade
faster than the other, etc. When you finally
stand up from a sitting, your body clenches
unevenly, and though you stand erect,
you're crooked as hell.

FIGHT BACK !
To combat this self-mutilation, you must
figure out to which butt cheek you bias and
to which leg you bias when standing. Now,
reverse it ! Try sitting on the other butt check,
and standing on the other leg (always bend
your knees a little). TRY TO MAKE THIS
NEW BIAS A HABIT WHEN YOU SIT
AND STAND.

Next, every time you can, practice
The Greatest Exercise In The World
THIS WILL MOBILIZE AND STRETCH
YOUR HIPS AND WAIST.

The Tenets of Tai Chi say "if you have
areas where you cannot find opportunity,
your sickness is to be found in the hips
and waist."

My teachers father, Fu Wing Fay, said,
"Little is it realized that the human body
has a network of passages (through which
our vital energy circulates) which is like
streams and rivulets running into large
rivers. When the streams, rivulets and
rivers are not in any way blocked and
water runs naturally from its distant source
far and wide along these waterways, then
you will gain incomparable strength. The
network of passages in our bodies (called
Jing Luo) is just like that. If there's nothing
to cause a blockage, then our blood and
chi will naturally flow to all parts of the body,
and wherever you intend, your chi will follow.
If you continue to practice for a long time
every day, you will receive this injection of
blood and chi that circulates through your
whole body without stoppage or stagnation
at any time; your real chi will become abundant.
Naturally, illnesses cannot develop, and
there's no question of your life being prolonged.
For those who have learned tai chi chuan well,
their outside appearance is as soft as cotton,
distinguished and learned. But inwardly, they
are firm and strong, and nothing can stand in their way."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

De-mystifying Chi-- well, sort of...

People are fascinated with chi.
We know we have energy inside us,
and that when we die, we don't
have it anymore.

What is this life energy ?
How do we get more ?
What can you do with more ?

What Is Chi ?
At the atomic level, even the hardest
stuff, like titanium, is empty. Atoms
are comprised of a dense nucleus
with electrons FLYING AROUND
it in orbit. Thus, the nature of an atom is
energy, not stuff (matter). We call this
energy "chi."
The space between is empty.

So when you strike a rod of titanium
against an anvil, the two never actually
touch. Their electrons simply repel each
other before they start to mingle.

The nature of the air we breath is
the same; it is full of energy. The space
in our lungs is empty, which allows us
to inhale. The difference with air is that
we can absorb some of the air's energy
into our body.  We convert oxygen to
carbon dioxide and utilize the difference.
This, along with the chi of food, is how
you stay alive.

Cultivating More Chi
Most people live their lives with the requisite
amount of chi. That is, they breathe in and
breathe out, eat food, poop, and walk around
like everyone else. Although it would seem
like athletes develop more energy than most
people, they still do not cultivate real chi.

Chi can only be cultivated and increased
through proper postural & breathing practice.
The problem is that teachers for such practice
are extremely uncommon. While many people
teach Tai Chi and Qi Gong (chi = Qi), very
few of these "masters" know very much about
breathing.

When I debate with the greatest of athletic trainers,
I can easily stump them by asking one simple question:
What kind of breathing training do you teach ?

You see, in the world of western science and
athletics, there is still no such thing as a developed
form of breath training. It just doesn't exist.

But the Taoists have been developing breathing
techniques for 7000 years.

"Diaphragmic Breathing" is absurdly manageable
in comparison to the "Reverse Breathing" of the
Taoists.

As my teacher's father, Fu Wing Fay, said long ago,
"(breathing) has puzzled many a colleague
in tai chi, who after exhausting their life energy,
still failed to appreciate its profound principal."


If you would like to begin developing chi for
yourself, I invite you to learn and practice this
very powerful Fu Style Qi Gong (energy practice):

The Greatest Exercise in the World

What Can You Do With More Chi ?
In 1905, a Swiss inventor named Alfred Buchi
invented the turbo-charger. A "turbo" is a gas
compressor used to increase the density of air
entering an engine to create more power.

With "Taoist Breathing," the human body is just
like a turbo. Proper posture allows for a greater
"emptiness" inside the check cavity. More air
can be pulled into the lungs than with "regular"
breathing. Upon exhalation, Taoist Breathing
condenses the inhaled oxygen and sends it down
into the Dan Tien--
a analogical organ of the lower abdomen. The
Taoists use the Dan Tien as a storage battery for
the condensed breath energy.

Cultivation and storage of chi allows the practitioner
to expend this high-power energy for endurance,
greater control of the body or explosive power.
Those who possess chi also possess the finest health,
the coolest demeanor, exuberant vitality and many
other abilities of human greatness.

I like video, because it shows a real person in action.
The following video is a seventy-something year
old woman named Master Bow Sim Mark.
Master Mark has chi. If you know of any 70+
person who can do the kinds of things she can,
please leave me a comment.



Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sore Muscles? Here's The Magic Bullet

Two days ago, I skied a big powder
day at Snowbird. The Wasatch Mountains
had seen almost 50 inches of new snow
this week. The powder was thigh-deep and
I was rarin' to go! Ski Utah !

Skiing deep powder can be punishing.
Most people make five turns, then have
to take a break. I will typically ski from
top to bottom without taking a break--
but because it was my first powder day
of the season, I fatigued, and had to
stop once or twice each run.

Yesterday I was sore. My legs and
butt were achy, and I tried to avoid the
stairs.

I did make a couple mistakes. First, I skied
a little too hard. Second-- and this is a big
one-- I took a long, hot shower when
I got home. Hot tubs and hot showers
exacerbate the trauma of strained and
over-trained muscles. This is a no-no.
Listen closely; don't do it.

From my days as a bodybuilder, I knew
exactly what would cure my sore legs.
Protein.

The problem is, like carbs, not all protein
is created equally. People think eating
chicken is just the right thing. As an
iridologist once told me, "You might as
well eat the feathers."

Protein is the ultimate cure for over-training,
but it must be ABSORBABLE.
What proteins are absorbable ?

WHEY is the most absorbable protein for
the human body. For most, it's best to get
it in powder form so you can make a shake.
GNC or your local grocery store should have it.

The next most absorbable protein is egg white.
Here's the catch: IT MUST BE RAW. Just
as soon as you cook, blend, shake or even
stir an egg white, the molecular structure
changes significantly, rending it almost
useless to your body. For the ultimate protein
shake, follow this link:
http://www.wildutah.net/4-23-04/htmldocs/protein.htm

I drank one shake yesterday afternoon,
and sprang out of bed this morning, ready
to get back on the mountain. It's still snowing,
and I'm gone--

Thursday, January 21, 2010

In Those Heels, You Look Mahvelous !

Do you remember those old Saturday Night
Live episodes when Billy Crystal played
Fernando Lamas ? He exaggerated like
crazy, and spouted the famous line,
"It's better to look good than to feel good, Dahling."

Our culture overemphasizes beauty and
aesthetics at the risk of personal danger.
Many people will read this blog and ignore
it completely. I'm here to tell you:

Those heels are killing you !

To clarify, I'm not just talking about four-inch
stilettos, wide-heel pumps or ankle boots.
And I'm not just talking about women.
I'm talking about ANY and ALL shoes with
a raised heel:

Loafers, cowboy boots, clogs, EVEN NIKES !
I'll bet most of the shoes you own have a heel.

You see, the incline heel wrecks your posture
by pushing your body-weight forward, forcing
your knees to bend and your hips to flex (into
duck butt). This in turn forces your spine to
curve in exaggeration and throws everything
out of whack.



If you look at a human skeleton, the weight of
our bodies comes down onto the heel. Balance
lies in the heels, not the balls and toes of the foot.

Taoists wear flat shoes. My teacher's grandfather
was the greatest warrior in all of China, and the guy
wore slippers (his name was Fu Zhen Song...).



Do yourself a huge favor and cut your wear
of heeled shoes down as much as you possibly
can. Go try on a pair of Earth negative heel
shoes (they put your heel lower than the rest
of your foot). I also like Keen shoes because
if there is a heel, it ain't much.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ejaculation: Throwing Your Life Away

The Taoists of China are the oldest culture
on the planet. They have had some 7000
years to observe nature, theorize, test,
and document what they learned.

Think about acupuncture. How in the
world did humans figure out that a tiny
needle pushed into a point two inches
below the knee can stimulate the stomach ?
Or that the health of the spleen can be
assessed by palpating a point on the wrist ?

The answer: 7000 years of experimentation.
(western medicine dubiously calls this
"pseudo-science")

The Taoists have long-believed that energy
is the stuff of the universe (western science now
aligns itself with this theory). So the Taoists
look at the human body in terms of flow and
storage of energy (chi).

In both men and women, the most precious
life energy is in and around the sex organs. The
kidneys are said to give you the energy to move.
In a man, the semen is the most concentrated
and powerful energy he possesses (the Chinese
call it "yuan chi" or original energy). Makes sense--
it's rich in dietary nutrients, and powerful enough
to create another human.

As the most sophisticated animals on the planet,
we have devised ways to control pregnancy so
that we can take great pleasure in sexual intercourse
without creating new life. But we missed the
warning label:
"Discard of semen may be hazardous to your health"

Think about it: what happens to a man when he
ejaculates ? Can he jump right up and start doing
calisthenics ? No. He's totally worthless. It's because
he just lost his most valuable asset.

Before you get too alarmed (women) or upset (men),
I'd like to elaborate just a little:

1. It's fine for a young man to ejaculate. Young men
(under 30) replenish and rejuvenate very rapidly.

2. As a man gets older, there is a schedule of decreasing
frequency he should maintain. Once every two weeks
in his 30's, and even less after that.

3. There is a special point that can be pressed with
a finger that enhances male orgasm, BUT withholds
the semen, actually sending it somewhere else. When
this point is pressed, a man CAN do calisthenics right
after orgasm.

4. Practice of the Deer Exercise for men will lend the
ability to orgasm without ejaculation and without
the need to depress the special point (mentioned above).

PLEASE NOTE:
The use of the special point (which lies in the taint)
comes with a big warning:
If you have a prostate infection, it could be harmful.
Someone commented (below) saying I am,
"endorsing prostate cancer." He was vague at best,
so maybe this is what he means... ?

For more information, leave me a comment.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Menstruation: Not Mandatory

I throw a crazy title out there, and
it gets you to bite. If you've read
my other blogs, you find I have
a pretty intelligent explanation for
these "wacky titles."

Menstruation.

Sounds a little like,
"Men's frustration." Hmm.

Imagine for a moment that a woman
now has the choice to menstruate or not.
Many women would choose to continue
to menstruate because they already have.
They feel it's normal, and natural, and
that it's a time of cleansing.

But let's look at the other side of it.
Blood is very important to your body. Duh--
even I feel stupid saying that. You wouldn't
cut your finger just to see it bleed. No. We
have an innate sense of doing the best job
we can to keep our blood inside our bodies.
Red blood is a vivid sign of losing life.
Just like cutting your finger, a woman loses
vital energy, vitality and nutrients when
she menstruates.

So if a woman flipped a switch and stopped
menstruating, she would feel a lot better. She
would also have birth control at her fingertips--
without the risk and hassle of supplemental
hormones. Imagine how much money you
would save on feminine pharm and products.

Is it possible ? MOST DEFINITELY !

The Taoists have an ancient technique called
The Deer Exercise that will halt menstruation
in most women in two to six weeks. It is a
simple exercise that only takes a few minutes
a day; not only does it feel good, but it also
boosts the immune system and seriously
slows the appearance of aging (ever wonder
why Chinese women age so gracefully ?).

The Deer Exercise is natural too.
Your teeth don't brush themselves.
Your body doesn't exercise on its own.
Practice of the Deer Exercise is just like that.
It's awesome technology for a woman's health.

Lots of sources for the Deer Exercise can
be found on the internet, and they're not all
the same. If you want the very best reference,
ping me.

Tomorrow--
Ejaculation: Stop Throwing Your Life Away

Monday, January 18, 2010

How To Relax ax ax ax...


To say that physical relaxation is misunderstood
among mankind is to understate it in astronomical
proportions.


Since you and I can't really communicate because
I'm writing and you're reading, you can't give me
a direct answer to my question:
HOW DO YOU RELAX ?

But I can guess what your reply might be.


Alcohol?
Vacation?
Shopping ?
A hot bath and a good book ?
Prescription drugs like Xanax ?

When I asked a friend of mine, she said
she relaxes by swimming. She puts her ears in the
water and floats. This is a good idea, but still not
the kind of relaxation we are capable of.

The human body harbors amazing amounts of
tension. We manifest psychological anxiety and
tension in our bodies, especially in the waist and
hips. We also sit way too much.

Want to know why your neck hurts at the end
of the day ? It's because your hips are tight.
They are simply PULLING on your neck.

High-level relaxation requires special movement,
and special training. These only come from Tai Chi.
Tai Chi is an academic pursuit that teaches the body
profoundly different sets of study and practice.
It requires that you come to understand this paradox:
You must concentrate on relaxation.

The great Tai Chi master, Fu Wing Fay said,

"Tai Chi Chuan is a kind of profound art where you
use your intent (mind) and not your strength. Our
chi and mind (or intent) is the master, and our flesh
and bones are but servants."  Because of this, when
you practice, your whole body should be completely
relaxed. There should not be a single iota of brute
strength remaining within your bones and sinews--
your blood adds pulses to bind your body. Only then
can you lithely affect changes, and spin around as
you wish."

Think about it. Every movement you make every
day requires that you use strength or brute strength.
So how can you go from using nothing but strength
to using no strength whatsoever ?
The answer is deep relaxation.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why You Can't Relax

"Muscle Tone" is another fitness industry
term I can't stand. Go ahead and Wiki it. All
kinds of trainers use that term to connote
increased muscle size and simultaneous decreased
body fat percentage. That's back to AESTHETICS,

which are practically worthless.

Muscle Tone comes from the kinesiological
term, "tonus." Tonus is the relative state of
relaxation, or partial contraction of a muscle
at rest. Muscles with more tonus are more
relaxed, and typically better at "working"
when they're needed.

Relaxation will help you run faster, jump
higher, and keep you from getting injured.
It will greatly enhance your balance, speed
and accuracy.


Most common forms of exercise are
"tension-based." You TENSE and contract
the muscles to make movements. These are
not helping you relax.

Neither is sitting or standing. You see, you
have bad habits (don't worry, everyone does).
When you stand, you favor standing on one
leg, probably with your knee locked. When
you sit, you primarily sit on one butt cheek.
You don't even realize you're doing this;
but the older you get, the more developed
these habits become.

Why are they bad habits ? Because they are
creating unbalanced tension in your body,
which leads to both stiffness and inappropriate
compensation. The irregular tension zips back
and forth across the plane-centers of your body.

So while you attempt to keep your body upright,
some muscles must chronically contract while the
same muscle on the other side will have to stretch.
Over time, this leads to degeneration of the joints,
such as the knees and hips; it also degrades posture
which makes it more and more difficult to remain
upright.

So how do you relax ?
Tomorrow, I'll tell you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Power of Breath

Today, Power of Breath.

Go ahead. Say it ain't so.
Power is in the muscles, right ?
I'm goading you again, I know.
But where else does power
come from ?

I'm talking about power to
spike a volleyball. Power
to throw a heavy stone.
Power to chop wood. Power
to punch hard.
Explosive power.

Can breath have that kind
of power ?

What about sneezing ?
Even a very tiny person can
generate hurricane-force wind
with a sneeze. Enough power
to break ribs, rupture ligaments
and even explode the lungs.

If one does not relax during a
sneeze, or tries to stifle it, the
result can be deadly.

People laugh when they think
of Tai Chi as a martial art. The
slow practice could never produce
speed and power, right ? Wrong.

Tai Chi develops the power of
breath.

So if you still doubt the awesomely
devastating power of breath, I want
you to check out Bow Sim Mark (link).
This teeny-tiny, seventy-something
year old woman can
throw ANYONE across the room.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fire Your Chiropractor !






I know that sounds a bit inflammatory.
And I also admit that chiropractors
helped me with pain many years ago.
But that was before I learned how to fix
my Self.

Since I was a child, I've always cracked
my knuckles. A medical doctor once
told me not to crack. He said, "it will
give you enlarged knuckles and
eventually lead to arthritis."

I started lifting weights and playing a lot
of volleyball back in college. By the time
I was 22, my neck was pretty screwed up.
A good friend knew how to "crack" my
neck the chiropractic way, and that
relieved the pain.

A few years later, I had the privilege of
talking with a very famous orthopedic
surgeon about cracking (knuckles, neck,
spine, whatever); he said,
"IF IT FEELS GOOD, DO IT.
IT WON’T HURT YOU AT ALL."
I believe his opinion carried a lot more
weight than the M.D. who told me
‘cracking is bad.’

When I was about 28, I hurt my back
snowmobiling. At that point it was easy
for me to go see a chiropractor and get
the snap, crackle, pop I needed to relieve
the pain. I only had incidental back pain;
but my friends who saw a chiropractor on
a regular basis all said the adjustments
were critical to their daily comfort
but they also seemed to agree that the
relief is always temporary.

When I was 31, I started learning Tai Chi.
My teacher recommended a special
warm-up exercise he called “Rolling
Stretch.” When I did that exercise, my
back & neck popped and felt a lot better.
When I practiced Tai Chi,
EVERYTHING POPPED: elbows,
ankles, wrists, shoulders, neck, fingers,
knees, hips, EVERYTHING ! In less
than two years, the neck pain was
completely gone, and strangely enough,
I stopped catching colds and the flu.

I don’t want to trash chiropractors TOO
much. I just want to point out that the
“remedy” a chiropractor provides is also
one that almost always demands that you
go back for more. So in that light, it’s not
really a remedy; it’s temporary relief
requiring periodic, repeating treatments.
And those cost money.

I would love to teach you how to fix
your Self. I have lots of free videos
available on the internet, and inexpensive
videos on DVD. Imagine how much
money you could save by
firing your chiropractor.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

17-Minute Kung Fu Body

Hey Sports Fans !
Wanna get your ass kicked ?
Try my 17-minute warm-up routine.
Right click to download, or
ctrl click on a Mac.

Same as with the Greatest Exercise
in the World, DON'T BEND BACK
TOO MUCH WHEN YOU'RE NEW

http://www.wildutah.net/17MinWarmUps.mov


Let me know how it goes :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Greatest Exercise in the World ! !

In this blog, I give you the Greatest
Exercise in the World. But first,
I digress (rant). If you can't wait,
scroll down.

"Core Strength" is another fitness
industry, BS buzzword that drives
me nuts. Why ? Because structural
stability is so widely misunderstood.

Top Three Things Overlooked
in "Core Strength" Training:
  1. Mobility
  2. Viscera
  3. Gray Matter

Mobility
Trainers think of "the core" as a
solid chunk of muscle, inconvenienced
by two hips & legs. If you start with
the fact that the mid-section, or trunk,
houses more joints per cubic foot than
any other segment of the body, you get
the idea that it's not a dense "core;" it's
more like a theoretical Slinky. A joint
is where two bones connect via
tendons, ligaments and muscle.
The purpose of a joint is to provide
MOBILITY (Why You Should Exercise)

"Core Strength" training has involved
contracting various muscles of the
trunk & hips to obtain structural stability.
The new rage is "tri-planar stretching,"
which should increase one's mobility.
The question of how to increase mobility
while stabilizing the structure is a paradox.
But paradox can lead to all new understanding.

Viscera
These is yer guts, which also reside in
"the core." Thirty-something feet of
intestines, multiple organs like kidneys,
spleen, stomach... you get the idea.
Squeezing these things with squats,
sit-ups and crunches does not do for
you what The Greatest Exercise will.

Gray Matter
This is yer brain. While most gray matter
is housed in the cranium, the brain-stuff
also extends all the way down through
your spine to the level of your stomach.
How does "core strength" training address
this paltry little phenomenon ? It doesn't.

Remember when I said,
"People can only exercise to the
level they understand?" Well,
this one is the king. This exercise
is more developed than anything--
and I mean anything ! It is, in fact,
The Greatest Exercise in the World !

A few tips for The Greatest Exercise:

  • At first, don't bend back too much
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor
  • Always bend both your knees, always
  • Right side, weight on right foot; left side, left foot
  • Again, don't bend back to much when this is new

Without further ado,
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet
Grandmaster Victor Sheng Long Fu:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Simple Body Fat Mitigation

Of course, there are reasons to lose
body fat, like when your clothes no longer
fit you. That's just practicality.

The process of losing body fat is not
that tough. But I see people screw it up
all the time.

To lose body fat, you only need three things:
  1. a little knowledge
  2. a lotta willpower
  3. to exercise
Knowledge
Losing body fat is 90 percent dietary, and
this is the gospel:
Only Drink Water
Eat Much Less
Take Vitamins (One-a-day or daily-packs)
Sugar is the Enemy


Read nutrition labels and Cut Sugar out
of your diet as much as you possibly can.
The hard part is knowing what sugar is.
Sugar, sucrose, glucose, corn anything,
syrup (including corn syrup), molasses...

"Carbs are bad," oh me, oh my !
The thing is, not all carbs are created
equally. Read labels, and get comfortable
with the Glycemic Index. You see, carbs
are either sugary or fibrous, or somewhere
in between. The Glycemic Index is an
elegant guide to understanding a
food's sugar density.

For example:

NOT Making You Fat (Low GI):
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta (yeah really, Pasta)
  • Pumpernickel and pita
  • Sweet potato
  • cottage cheese
  • Most fruits and vegetables
  • Fish and shellfish
Making You Fat (High GI):
  • Rice cakes & corn chips
  • Potatos (white, red, new)
  • Most breads
  • Bran flakes (Raisin Bran & Total)
  • Beef, cheese, peanut butter
  • >Gatorade, and sweetened juices
  • plus candy, donuts & junk-- but you knew that
Vitamins should be taken with a little juice;
do not take vitamins within two hours of
any dairy, like milk.
I will mention here that some "fat burning"
supplements can really help; I recommend
Caffeine-free Hydroxycut. Many other brands
can be horrible and torturous.
Drink lots of water. Do not drink coffee,
especially on an empty stomach.

Alcohol: see Willpower below.

Willpower
Make the decision to lose body fat.
Do the things I'm suggesting here.
Stay with it for at least 4-6 months.


You've been eating junk and drinking
alcohol plenty, plenty, plenty. Take
a break. Lose some weight. Feel better.


Don't drink alcohol.
One of the dumbest mistakes I see is
people trying to lose weight by taking
fat-burning supplements, but they won't
stop drinking alcohol.
Alcohol is fattening.
Alcohol is sugar.
Alcohol inhibits digestion.
Alcohol is bad for fat loss.
Don't drink alcohol.

Exercise
This is not as important for fat loss as
"fitness experts" profess. Just exercise.
Pick something, and do it 20-30 minutes
a day, at least five days a week. Just do it.

Tomorrow, I will give you the greatest
exercise in the world, absolutely free.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Child's Exercise Is Better For You?

TommyTheory:
"People can only exercise
to the level they understand."


When you were in second grade PE class,
the gym teacher had you learn jumping
jacks, sit-ups, maybe push-ups, shuttle
runs, and some games like kickball.


If you had been suddenly whisked-off to the
Blue Lagoon and received no more physical
education, you might continue those exercises
(but you certainly would not develop new ones).


Are sit-ups and push-ups enough to live
a long and healthy life ? Are they enough
to give an adult real "fitness?" How about
to become a top-echelon professional athlete ?
Come on, say, "no," oh please, say, "no."


Then check out Herschel Walker.


Oh, maybe you've heard of him. In high school
football, Walker rushed for over 3,000 yards, took
his team to their only state championship, and
won the Dial Award for the national scholar-athlete
of the year. He was widely considered one of the
greatest college football players of all time, and
won the Heisman Trophy his junior year at the
University of Georgia. As you can imagine, Walker
also had a long & illustrious career in the NFL, and
will forever remain an athletic legacy.


Walker claims he was a tubby kid who got picked
last for sports, and that his sister always beat
him in running races.


So how did he train to become a legendary athlete?
Sit-ups and push-ups.


Do not underestimate the physicality you can
obtain by simply using bodyweight exercises.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why You Should NOT Exercise

We know we should exercise, but let's also
examine why we shouldn't exercise.


Jogging
This is caveman cardio at its best. Jogging
is a mindless, hamster-on-a-wheel activity
that has been scientifically proven to damage
the knees, ankles and feet. Jogging offers the
greatest diminishing return of any exercise--
meaning, the more you do it, the worse it gets.
It is punishing to a woman's hormonal balance.
It is sheerly unsustainable; you WILL QUIT JOGGING.


Excessive jogging destroys the immune system.
Marathoners are some of the sickest people around. 
In 2002, three brilliant, "fit" physicians from John
Hopkins University died while jogging:
(Frederick J. Montz;David A. Nagey; Jeffrey A. Williams)
How could this happen to three medical doctors
from one of the best hospitals in the country ?
If they didn't know better, how will you ?


Weight Lifting
Weight-lifting serves to isolate the contraction
of specific muscles or muscle groups in order
to make the muscles bigger and stronger. Because
the major focus of "fitness" is muscle strength,
the elasticity of the connective tissues takes a
major backseat. Weight-lifting shortens the tendons.
Let me say that again. Weight-lifting SHORTENS
THE TENDONS. Ever heard the term, "muscle bound?"
Sustainable mobility is critical to the second half
of your life; you will most likely quit lifting weights
before you are 50. 


Overtraining with weights can cause a large
array of problems like depression, chronic
fatigue, insomnia, headaches, decreased
immunity, irritability, and an increase in injuries.


Don't even get me started about eating. Body-builders
eat 12,000 plus calories a day to support those muscles.
Wanna know what happens later ? Just look at Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger (he's really fat now!). Can anyone
believe that guy was the Chairman of the President's
Council on Physical Fitness and Sports ?


Dumbells. Just think, "DUMBELLS."


Cardio
While gentler on the joints than jogging or juggling dumbells,
"cardio" exercise can be a crippler too. Swimmers think
swimming is the greatest thing ever; but put a swimmer on a
soccer field and watch him get hurt. "Step" aerobics will
stiffen the hips & back, and reduce mobility over time.


Machines
Bicycling is another hamster-on-a-wheel exercise; it offers
very little range of motion, and will stiffen the hips and
back like few other movements. Bicycling is horrible for the
health of a man, as his weight rests between his legs.


Rowing machines are very hard on the spine, and will also
stiffen you up later in life. Most machines will also do
the same.


But don't lose hope just yet...




Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why You Should Exercise (It's not what you think)

Okay, so we're past the part about exercising
for beauty, right ? Well, I seriously doubt it--
but lots of people will hear me out.

I'm going to talk about health using common
terms so that I don't lose you in semantics.
I will also speak matter-of-factly; try not
to take offense to concepts like bowel
movements, as they are a simple fact of life.

I offer these reasons to exercise in order
of importance:

To Boost Your Immune System
"Weight-bearing exercises" place stress on
your bones. Your bones house your bone marrow.
Your white blood cells and immune system
are primarily manufactured in your bone marrow.
In simple mathematical terms, exercise equals
boost in immuno-response and a greater ability
to fight off sickness. There is nothing
worse than being sick. In the worst-case
scenario, sickness can cause death.
Death, hello?
That's why I list this one first.

Regeneration
Hand in hand with the immune system is
your ability to heal. Proper exercise promotes
health, which in turn helps the body to recover
from stress, heal from injury and get back
to life as usual. A physical therapist will make
you move in order to heal.

To Facilitate Mobility
Mobility is highly underrated. You will take
it for granted every day of your life until
you break your leg. Once you get to hobble
around on crutches or roll in a wheelchair, you
will no longer take mobility for granted.

It seems everyone understands that stronger
muscles are better for movement. Exercising
the muscles can increase or maintain the
power to actuate the joints and their range of motion.
Mobility also has a hierarchy:
  1. Crawling
  2. Hobbling
  3. Walking
  4. Climbing (as in stairs)
  5. Running
  6. Sprinting
  7. Tele-porting (this takes a lot of body skill)
To Enhance Bodily Function
I know, these sound weird, right ? When you're
used to exercising for beauty, this stuff sounds
so primitive. But the greatest athlete in the
world won't perform at peak levels when he
or she can't poop.

Proper exercise facilitates pooping, and digestion,
and circulation. Repetitive exercises have been
proven to enhance the production of melatonin,
the chemical that helps you sleep. Exercise can
really bolster your bodily functions which include:
  1. Autonomic function (heart, breathing, blinking)
  2. Mental health: (attitude, anxiety)
  3. Sexual function (;-)
  4. Control (breathing, sphincters, appetite)
Performance
If not for beauty, this is usually the primary reason why
folks exercise. Athletes need to perform on demand.
This requires many different body skills that can
be developed through exercise:
  1. Balance
  2. Coordination
  3. Speed
  4. Power
  5. Accuracy
  6. Stamina
  7. Proprioception (awareness of one's position in space)
Tomorrow I'll discuss why you shouldn't exercise.

Monday, January 4, 2010

FITNESS IS A DIRTY WORD

I admit that for many years, I have honestly
found the word FITNESS ugly and offensive.
I have been an athlete, an athletic trainer, a coach;
a bodybuilder, a triathlete, a runner, a cyclist;
I've studied anatomy, kinesiology, and
athletic technique for many, many years. But
something just wasn't right about the
word FITNESS. So I did some homework
to see what my friggen problem was.

FITNESS comes from the Old English
word "fitte," past participle of the verb,
"fitten," meaning "to be suitable, qualified
or competent." The word "fitnesse" could be
first found in literature in the year 1580.

For four hudred years, "fitness" meant proper
or worthy, as in one's moral aptitude; or it
meant suitable and appropriate, as in the ability
to perform a function--
like how qualified a candidate was for office.

In the late 1800's, writings of Charles Darwin
and Ralph Waldo Emerson still revealed FITNESS
to mean functional and appropriate.

In the 1940's, a brilliant emigrant M.D. from Austria
named Dr. Hans Kraus began testing children
in the U.S. and Europe for what he termed,
"Muscular Fitness." (in other words, muscular
functionality) Through his testing, he
found children in the U.S. to be far less
physically capable than European children.

Kruas published some alarming papers in
various journals, and got the attention of
some powerful people, including a senator
from Pennsylvania who took the findings
to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

President Eisenhower was "shocked."
He set up a series of conferences and
committees; then in July of 1956, Eisenhower
established the President's Council on Youth Fitness.

For that period, I don't have a problem
with "Youth Fitness," as it is implies
children being physically "appropriate."

For the next 20 or 30 years, the word
FITNESS still meant "suitable and
proper," although the buzz word,
PHYSICAL FITNESS bounced around
schools gymnasiums and across the
family dinner table. My 1971 Oxford English
Dictionary gives no reference for FITNESS
to mean anything about physicality.


In the late 1960's, the popularity of teenage
model Twiggy started a craze for having a
thin body. Although she hardly seemed athletic and
capable, people loved Twiggy's slight figure.


In 1968, Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper wrote the very
popular book, "Aerobics," which was evidently
the beginning of the big exercise push in the U.S.

Then something changed. With the
advent of the VHS player in the '80's,
people could start exercising at home. Thus
was born the "exercise guru." Millions of
Americans (mostly women) started buying
exercise videos, trying to achieve the bodies
of Jane Fonda, Denise Austin and Susan Powter.
Physical fitness was taking hold.

By the late 80's, the Body Image Craze was on !

For many, dieting was easier than exercising.
The word "fat" became the new asbestos
(reduced fat, low fat, fat-free, "that guy's fat.");
lots of new diets hit the market to sell big
and help people reach their hard-body ideal.
Years later, Dr. Atkins popularized the
no-carb diet.

Although many people chose either the
all-diet-no-exercise camp, or the all-exercise-
no-diet camp, exercise was really catching on.
Jogging became very popular, and aerobics
changed to include dance (like Jazzercise)
in order to keep people interested.

By the 1990's, exercise changed again because
people wanted the hard body, but they were getting
bored. Bodybuilding became popular, and aerobic
exercise got meaner with the inclusion of martial arts.
Madonna's fame & rock hard body gave all new
popularity to the long-dormant practice of yoga.
Like many English terms, physical fitness was
shortened to just FITNESS.

In the last 20 or 30 years, the perfect body for
women went from Marilyn Monroe to Raquel Welch to
Linda Carter (Wonder Woman) to Denise Austin.
The perfect body for men went from
Jack Lalane to Arnold Schwartzenegger,
and then scaled back to Matthew McConaughey.


With FITNESS, anyone could be beautiful. And seemingly,
that's all that matters. FITNESS has become the excalibre
of the Western world.


The word FITNESS substantially changed from
meaning "appropriate," to now meaning
THE CONDITION OF HAVING BOTH
NOTICEABLE MUSCLES AND REDUCED BODY FAT,
USUALLY AS A RESULT OF EXERCISE.

The new meaning has to do with AESTHETICS,
or making a body LOOK GOOD.


Oh sure, people can say they get "FIT" so that they
can do more and feel better, but exercise gurus are
selling their hard bodies under the title FITNESS
and people are buying it.

By 1999, FITNESS guru Billy Blanks had sold over
ONE BILLION Tae Bo video sets from his infomercial.
With the dance music pumping and Billy's six-pack
abs glistening under the lights, who could resist ?

The reason I have been all bunched up about
the word FITNESS is that the major implication
is beauty. I don't think exercise is bad, I just
want you to know that when I say, "Forget Fitness,"
I mean forget exercising for beauty.

There are many better reasons to exercise...