Monday, February 01, 2010

What One Needs to Know About Exercise

As people age and deteriorate in health, what they are most alarmed about, is that they no longer recover as quickly from injuries and illnesses, and in fact, the inability to recover, is what sets them down a steep path of increasingly deteriorating health without end -- no matter how long and hard they try to counteract that tendency.

So the first thing they have to do, is prevent themselves from further injury and bouts which take a long time to recover from. That is a major argument for very brief, but frequent exercises throughout the day, rather than a long duration that taxes their recovery overmuch at once, and makes it increasingly likely to suffer a calamitous event -- because the body is not fresh and alert, but fatigued and overburdened, which is not a good way to begin or to take on any additional challenges.

That is also the importance of frequent rests between exercises -- to recover. That's also what champion athletes do -- know their recovery ability, and not exhaust it prematurely, so when it comes time for their event, they haven't exhausted themselves prior to what they hope to be their peak performance, but very deliberately learn, to peak at the right moment.

Most athletic performance is actually of that nature -- of peaking, or putting everything together, at precisely the right moment. They are not concerned with lasting 30 minutes at a constant, sustained pace, because that's how the human is designed to produce its greatest capabilities -- running, jumping or throwing. The body is preparing and organizing a response to the challenge of the peak moment, and not any amount of mediocre effort and challenge -- no matter how long.

The fastest sprint will last less than 10 seconds. In football, they think a 40 yard dash is more valuable than a 100 yard dash, in determining the useful speed of an athlete. And then for some of the bigger guys, their ability to explode into an opposing player takes less than a second, and that is enough to make a huge difference. Everything is over and done with very quickly -- and then they rest and recover for their next attempt.

In no case, are they trying to maintain a steady high heart rate, but more valuable to them, is to be able to lower their heart rates, to achieve a greater state of relaxation preparatory to the natural rise accompanying a maximal effort. But the very deliberate attempt -- is to LOWER the heart rate and tension prior to a maximal effort, because it is that sudden change of state from fullest relaxation to peak contraction, that is the power of change, or simply power -- to fuel growth, health, work, play, creativity, imagination, whatever. That is the measure of one's vibrancy and vitality -- a peak and not a sustained and prolonged interval.

Those are the vital experiences of life -- keeping one at peak condition, and the ability to achieve it. It doesn't have to be for long, or prolonged. In every meaningful event, it is not, and even impossible to maintain for very long, but it doesn't mean that a very brief achievement of that condition, isn't enough to make a huge difference, in one's life and in the world.

One researcher made his study the attainment of peak performances (moments), and taken over a lifetime, is the fully actualized life. It doesn't matter if that activity is in the field of athletics, music, art, battle, emergency -- the peak is what is possible and defines the range of possibility, that doesn't just happen. It's cultivated by practice to become a conditioned response -- among all the others, including no, or an inadequate response.

The ability to call up that ability, not always, but briefly if necessary, is generally considered the ultimate capabilities of individuals, rather than simply being able to don only one thing over and over again -- regardless if it is meaningful to accomplishing any specific task. That kind of conditioning, is useless for any real world purpose -- just like learning for learning's sake that has no real world application and value.


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