Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Problem with Exercise Programs...

Is that they take up too much time, energy and other resources -- so as to create a barrier for everyone desiring optimal health -- without first having to join a gym, hire a personal trainer, and buy into everything the health or health care professionals are selling.

It often begins innocently enough with a physical education teacher convincing his students that unless they run a mile a day or otherwise exercise an hour a day 3 or 4 times a week, it won’t do them any good. and so thinking that, fall into the hopeless despair of thinking there is nothing they can do because the minimal effort required, is prohibitive.

It would seem to be that an intelligent public health approach would be to find the minimal effort that would put everybody into the game -- rather than keeping them passive outsiders as television watchers.

That would seem to be a very logical and intelligent way of including everyone in the national health effort -- rather than disqualifying most at the outset, from even seriously considering it. And surely, the viable life of the future absolutely requires it -- with decreasing demands for rigorous work and efforts to ensure that vitality -- in the familiar and traditional manner.

However, those traditional demands, were not necessarily the best way of fulfilling the body’s requirements for healthful movement and activities. In an era not requiring traditional activities of "hard work," humans are now free to design whatever optimal movements they can understand to optimize their functioning and well-being, and so that would be less likely to be those that have traditionally characterized fitness.

The most frequent mention of exercise for those not in the habit of doing it, is walking, which is a very imperfect and imprecise way of obtaining the greatest health benefits of activating the over 600 different muscles in the body, and ensuring their involvement and articulation. Walking is so imprecise an activity, that one is hard-pressed to say what muscles are actually engaged, and to what extent.

Running is not that much better -- at producing the desired effect of putting oneself in the condition one wants to be in -- directly, effectively, and obviously. For that, we have to go to the sport of bodybuilding to obtain our greatest insights of that possibility.

In fact, bodybuilders, both men and women, are so effective at producing prodigious developments, that many people’s immediate reactions, is to want not to achieve such freakish developments -- while overlooking the desirability of just achieving normal from their appallingly gross and obvious out of shape conditions.

It would be like every person declaiming the need for learning by rejecting their desire to become Einstein -- as though such a thing were possible to every average person. If they could just function as an average thinking person, that would already be a huge contribution to human progress.


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