Saturday, July 15, 2006

Fitness is the Ability to Change

Beyond all the arbitrary measurements that attempt to justify and rationalize what many do not feel comfortable doing, is the very simple, universal realization by everyone in any walk of life, that in order to change anything, one has to do something -- or not do it. That is the powerful relationship of cause and effect -- one thing directly related to another, obviously, self-evidently -- of which the most obvious example is the movements of our own body.

In modern times though, there has become a disconnect of this action from thought -- so that many people think that all that is necessary to accomplish anything anymore, is simply to wish and hope that it happens, while doing nothing to make it happen, and in fact, even making it more improbable that it will happen, by their actions. And so they are convinced even more, that thought and action, have no relationship, no common bond, but are separate and apart from one another.

That kind of worldview does not end there but proceeds to disconnect every other event and thing from every other -- in the thinking that nothing is related to any other thing, and that there are not universal, simple principles at work. One looks for the common thread between all things -- and the other looks for the generalization about only those things in that category, as though they were not subject to even higher principles.

The level of understanding of the highest common principle, is what separates those who are effective in their actions from those who are less so -- as for example, a person who realizes that the principle of gravity applies to all things -- and not just the ball. The latter individual, would then have to learn the behavior of every little thing as many different things to know and memorize, rather than the individual who recognizes the general principle (pattern) governing all.

That kind of understanding is much more efficient, allowing one to accomplish many things at once, instead of just one thing at a time, and always running out of time to do all the things they have to do separately and apart from everything else they do. Such people, are predictably always “busy,” and think that is an indication of their importance and worth. No matter how much they do (have done), they fall further behind every time one subsequently meets them for an update on their status.

Included in such reports, is the sensation that the work is only just beginning, rather than the work is practically over, riding the momentum of the past previous actions -- instead of the dread of starting all over, from nothing each time.

In the early days of exercise instruction, what was taught was the specific action of each muscle as a unique movement that had to be mastered. The value of focusing on the heart action was not that circulation was only effected by the heart action -- but the much larger principle that the very simple action of the heart in only contracting fully and completely each time alternated by the full and complete relaxation, is the ability of all muscles to contribute to the beneficial circulatory effect in this very direct and powerful manner.


At July 18, 2006 3:12 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Unless one can make changes in the short term, there is no basis for a belief that one can make changes in the long term.

A similar violation of intuition occurs in investing when a promoter/adviser claims that the reason one should invest and keep on investing, is because the value of that investment keeps going down, rather than in investing in those things that at least go up at some point.

It's like betting on the racehorse that always comes in last -- thinking it is due for a win.

Many people's idea of solving a problem is making it worse -- in the misunderstanding that for every action, there is a reaction -- and so create a problem to solve a problem. It's a dysfunctional thought process. Lots of wars begin that way.

At July 21, 2006 11:24 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Most problems in the world have already been solved -- but we still have to find the right person with the right solution -- and not just the person who claims that they have the solution for everything -- the panacea promoters of every field. They will promise that if all the money goes to education (transportation, homelessness, healthcare, space flight, etc.), all the world’s problems will be solved -- instead of just the salesman’s. The lure of panaceas is ageless. One is only one provocative but usually very expensive solution away from life happily forever after. The longer the timeline of the projects, the more all the catastrophes of current daily operations can be overlooked -- because included in the future panacea, is the proper management of all we cannot manage presently.

At July 21, 2006 12:10 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The challenge for exercise-designers is to create exercise that can be done anytime, anywhere, with or without any special apparatus. The present paradigm is to force everybody into one mold -- that most people don’t want to do -- which is quite the most stupid idea ever conceived!

It is the perfect excuse not to do it. But when something makes so much sense, one can’t help but do it. One doesn’t have to sit a cat on a hot stove everyday to condition them not to do it. The conditioning takes place once and then each day, they consciously choose not to sit on a hot stove -- or go anywhere near it.

So the kind of conditioning program in which one has to be forced to do what the body and senses instinctively rebels against, should be some kind of hint that it might be wrong -- just as we naturally come to place the round pegs in the round holes and the square pegs in the square holes -- giving up entirely on the notion that if we simply try harder, the round pegs will go into the square holes, and the square pegs will go into the round holes. Obviously, such a program was thought of by a particularly ingenious PE teacher.

The best exercise and conditioning program will be the one that makes the most sense -- rather than hoping to achieve the opposite reaction of everything one is doing. If the knees hurt, running is not the cure. The proper movement, obviously relieves the pain.

At July 22, 2006 12:42 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

When one understands that the body is a hydraulic system -- subject to the rules and principles of the movement of gases and fluids, then one can easily see how the heart effects the circulation process in the body. However, its main action is in pumping blood out of the heart; the other side of the circulatory picture is pumping blood back to the heart -- which when people don’t do it very well, is apparent in the bloated look of so many people, generally observed to be fat and overweight.

That is because the major effector for pumping blood back to the heart is the contractions of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles, in healthy, active people. However, due to increasingly sedentary lives, that can be a deficiency in many contemporary lives -- but rather than reverting back to a fulltime job of physical toil -- one can up the understanding and so achieve that same purpose and effect, in a minute of focused movement to this intent, daily.

That is what the evolution and design of the body supports; however, nobody provides an owner’s manual to say specifically so. It has to be observed and then confirmed in the actual experience of each person -- that it is indeed so, and so all those less perfect understandings of what people think they are achieving, begin to fall into a simple, unified, integrated understanding.

By producing a full contraction-full relaxation muscle contraction at the furthest extremity of the body, the contraction reduces the volume of the muscle and so increases the pressure within that volume, forcing fluid to move in the direction where there is less pressure (valves only allow movement in one direction) -- which will be towards the heart because it is pumping blood out of the heart. That is the effect of exercise in enhancing the beneficial effects of circulation in the body -- which ensures the health and optimal functioning of the body.

In the past, those movements and contractions were not directly designed for this specific purpose but was a side-effect of doing something else. When one removes the “everything else” component which was 95% of the effort, one is left with the actual direct beneficial effect -- and why superior results can therefore be obtained with 5% of the time and effort -- unless one really needs to run to the store to purchase some item.

At July 22, 2006 12:57 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Simply put, if one operates a voluntary muscle in a manner like the heart (as a pump), the fluid and gases in the body must respond in that manner -- and so instead of just having one heart to perform the work of circulation, one has added more pumps to achieve a greater effect -- as he requires to.

In performing the full contraction-to-full relaxation cycle, that tones the muscle to a much greater direct effect than is normally achieved without that understanding and intent. Most normal movements do not achieve this range of completion -- however much the possibility exists in everyone. The potential is simply not used -- and so more muscular potential that is similarly not used, is not the answer to greater fitness.

The solution is using what one already has -- to greater effectiveness. That is like most of our (social) problems today. Not that there is a lack of resources -- but that we only use 5% of it effectively, intelligently.


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