Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thoughtful Exercise -- A Little Goes a Long Way

The first time I thought about doing exercise differently from the conventional thinking of it, was in the late '70s when I first started experiencing injuries that seemed to overrun my abilities to recover from them, as well as discussing with an instructor of mine who was working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), who pointed out the problem that astronauts on long space voyages suffered from muscular atrophy from weightlessness and the traditional parameters thought necessary for maintaining strength, which is the resistance of working against gravity.

And while it is true that that factor of life that we take for granted living on earth, life still obviously continues, so it might be quite possible to develop an exercise program that was not abnegated by that necessity of working against the resistance normally provided by gravity. That led logically, to other alternatives for providing resistance -- such as hydraulic shock absorbers, and Bowflex technologies, or the natural resistance of materials to retain their original shape, including rubber bands, etc.

But the step beyond alternative external resistance technologies, was the consideration that the fluids and gases within the body itself, also provide this natural resistance, unless being activated to move, which is the challenge of moving fluids to where it can do the most good, because like everything else, they tend to want to stay where they are, unless forced to move somewhere else.

That is notably the problem of people with poor circulation -- that the fluids in their bodies, have no reason to move other than where they already are, and the advantage of liquids and gases, is their ability to move somewhere, to provide a medium of exchange in getting rid of waste products produced by the body's natural functions, and then, to bring in new nutrients and other life-enhancing byproducts.

Ancient exercise strategies, have called that process "chi," or "prana," which is this life-giving, life-sustaining, life-enhancing quality noted in healthy individuals, and in western science, was formalized only in the late 18th century by the "discovery" of oxygen and the understanding of the circulatory process -- that makes life wholly possible. Without it, the brain will first die in a matter of minutes -- which is acute failure, as opposed to the more typical experience of chronic, longterm failure which is the deterioration of life sustaining force.

When the body fails -- as in working it to "muscular failure" -- it is invariably because the brain fails first, because the effort cuts off the flow to the brain foremost, and diverts the flow to somewhere else the individual has decided, is much more important to sustain -- until the brain will invariably tell them otherwise, because it is the operating environment of the brain, that must be protected above all other functioning in the body. So there is no true muscular failure; it is the brain, that first gives up the effort -- because the oxygen debt to the brain, falls alarmingly low -- shutting down all other effort.

Therefore, one of the primary objectives in proper exercise, must be the priority of ensuring the flow to the brain -- which is not just the increased beating of the heart, but ensuring that there is actual full-range head movement that ensures the pumping (circulatory) effect. So rather than the notion that one can develop the physical part of the body separate from its mental considerations, they are linked -- because the primary function of the brain (mind), is not to produce thought but health. This is true of the brains of all living beings -- and failing that vital function, all else will be suboptimal, and mainly, substandard human performance and behavior.

But because we have allowed, if not created the dichotomy of health of mind (brain) separate from body, we think it quite possible, that one can function well without the other, and so many justify their otherwise disastrous health and functioning, which must be a genius in some manner not apparent but their rationalizations and explanations of that "superiority."

Otherwise, most of the outstanding I've met, were fully developed and actualized in every phase of their existence -- with that as their objective in life.


Post a Comment

<< Home