Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When Exercise is Too Hard, People Just Don't (Can't) Do It

Almost all the thought and energy goes towards making exercise and activities harder -- rather than making them easier and more possible (probable). Exercise instructors think they are ingenious in advocating that every 90 year ought to be running a marathon at least yearly as their prescription of a national health program -- while failing to acknowledge that most at that age, have a great difficulty just running to the bathroom, and the many more injuries and deaths that would produce -- until anybody with any sense, would point out that the reason everything hurts, is because of what one is doing.

Even the champion bodybuilders usually all have to eventually stop because they can no longer move their shoulders and hips, knees and elbows -- after years of excessive wear and tear -- even if the spirit is still willing. The flesh (reality) won't allow it anymore. But that is just exercise as they have known it all their lives -- which is certainly not the limits of the possibilities of movement and conditioning. In fact, far greater ranges of motion exist than they've ever tapped and thought to express, than the few they have learned and been conditioned to think are the only ways people can move -- which are not even the best ways people can move, as well as the most efficient way so that they might.

Instead, they are usually advised to try harder and longer, to do those things that are painful and unsuitable to do -- like marathon running or walking, for those who have difficulty just getting from one room to another. That kind of advice (instruction) is harmful as well as discouraging -- mainly because of the limitations of their instructor's own understanding of the virtually unlimited possibilities of movement -- of which those most commonly done, are obviously already the problem, and the cause of their poor condition and prognosis.

So in this particularly, and as a general principle of overcoming one's limitations and problems, the solution lies in re-examining the actual limits -- rather than simply the limits of conventional wisdom and conformity to the
groupthink of mass media -- including the schools. That, probably, is the great failing of most schools -- promoting their way of thinking about anything, as the only way it can ever be thought -- which is usually the source of the problem, mistaking the problem for its solution -- and thinking that what is needed, is more of the same. And of course because it doesn't work, they're just admonished to try harder -- until they give up entirely, or have battered themselves into submission, somnolence or depression (dementias). They just don't care anymore, and if they did, they don't let on that they do. They effectively stop relating, reacting and responding to the world in an immediate and appropriate way -- especially at the sites in which the greatest range of expression are possible -- at the head (face), hands and feet.

Thus the markers of diminishing health are usually measured at the hands (grip strength), feet (balance), and range of expression at the face and movement of the head effected by the neck muscles that are a telltale sign of liveliness (animation) and blood flow to the brain, as well as the ability to withstand a blow to this critical area. Obviously the health and appearance of these areas, imply the general health and condition of the body -- way before one takes any lab tests confirming this impression. There is a reason people look healthy -- and not in spite of it. This is the rule and not the exception or
randomness the "experts" claim only they can divine beyond.

This is a source of great pride for those who claim attributes not apparent and obvious to everyone else. Such people inhabit "opposite world," in which everything is the opposite of what it obviously seems -- and only the clever can see that. They alone, will "beat the market," "defy the odds," "ignore the obvious," etc., proud in their knowledge that all phenomenon is
random activity, signifying nothing. And the height of their skill, is to convince all the others in the mass hysteria (media) that is so -- as proof of their power to convince everyone of what is not true -- as the highest achievement of human intelligence.

The rest they dismiss as "anecdotal," because they are based on one's actual experiences instead of what everyone should believe to be true -- as though anybody knew that with certainty. The best one can do is find out for themselves whether any claim is true, and not merely accept it because a proclaimed expert (spokesperson) says so -- and we ought to believe it no matter how absurd it seems, because they were certified and anointed by all the politically correct organizations -- whose sole purpose, is to confirm their own authority and authenticity -- and not allowing it to any others.

Fortunately, the world of rigid social/political/economic hierarchies are disintegrating as we speak, allowing in their wake, a greater freedom of expression than the very narrow channels of expression and possibilities. People who can no longer walk, or to whom it is a great difficulty, have even greater ways of increasing their mobility -- and range of travel, without having to first be disabled to impel them to do so. Getting back to "normal," is not their prime motivation, as so many conditioning programs are based on. Nor should it matter even, to be the world champion at something with no usefulness beyond the title -- at one point in their lives before losing all those faculties. What matters, is to be at the top of their game, no matter what condition and circumstances they now face.

And why shouldn't that be all one's life? -- for one's life? The real failing of the human condition, is the inability to express and communicate -- even in their own self-isolating activity. Like the bicyclist or runner pursuing the exclusion of all else but their own heart beat is surely someone ensuring that their survival is not long -- as one whose conditioning is a heightened awareness of everything going on around them -- and becoming one with it, rather than against and oblivious to everything else. Surely that optimizes one's survival -- which is really what fitness is all about, to live a better life and not extinguish prematurely, senselessly and needlessly.

Yes, he could have had lights on his bike -- and yielded to that logging truck instead of demanding his right of way -- as the ultimate test of wills. The skills implied in surviving, is the measure of that fitness.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

How Much is Enough to Retire On?

Social Security will be enough -- if one is an astute financial manager; if one isn't, no amount of money will be enough.

The value of accumulating tremendous assets, is the skill and experience one develops doing so -- and not the money, as many who have made a fortune and lost it also, learn. They're far richer for the experience of having made that fortune, even if they lost it in a change of fortunes -- that will happen from time to time, throughout a long and eventful life.

That's why these people who come into an unexpected windfall, frequently lose it just as quickly -- because they haven't acquired the skills and experience over time -- in facing many different conditions. That is also why whenever one does come into a windfall, one should take the full amount of it over as long a period as possible -- rather than the much lesser lump sum, which they will proceed to lose quickly because they have no skill and experience at money management.

This is true even if one doesn't accumulate $4 million for retirement; in fact, they would have even more exceptional skill if they could increase their net worth by only one cent a day -- reliably every day, because I don't think even Warren Buffett has that track record. And if one is always increasing one's wealth at any pace, one is in actuality always getting richer -- and that is their skill and experience.

People who are really sharp at money management will always make the most of whatever they have to work with -- while the countless money management fools will always complain that they don't have enough -- no matter how much they have. So when a person says, they live well on only Social Security, not only is it believable, but it is much more impressive of a person who will do well no matter what, while the countless motley fools will raise the bar ever higher to the amount required before they feel they have enough -- but they will always be fools to whom no amount of money will ever be enough, and so they will always be trying to sell their scams in these financial forums.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Better Than Walking

There is a YouTube video out that shows Steve Jobs explaining the value and impact of the personal computer -- in one of his earlier presentations to popularize the concept. He points out that a study comparing the efficiency of the locomotion of all the species of animals in the world, placed the humans woefully last -- but with the invention and allowance for the use of a bicycle, humans then become first by "no comparison," to all the other species. And in the next progression of his illustration, the personal computer is a "bicycle for the mind."

Yet many people who supposedly advise people on the best exercise for humans -- still think that walking (or running) is the best exercise for people -- because they claim it is the oldest and most rudimentary, without even questioning those presumptions. Long before the human baby begins to walk, let alone run, it performs many other movements (expressions) that already begin to characterize their uniqueness. Walking is just a universal benchmark that is already culturally influenced. Some cultures try to defer it for as long as possible -- in the wisdom that they want their children to be as matured as possible, before they go out wandering off into the wilderness or dangers.

Safer cultures don't think it is a disadvantage to foster such independence as early as possible. Those same concerns determine when some children learn to walk anywhere on their own -- while others won't be allowed to until well into their teen years, if then -- because even mobility entails risk, so that on the opposite end of the spectrum, many elderly are no longer allowed to walk anywhere on their own also. And certain genders in certain cultures also have these strict prohibitions against their movement at will.

So for one to believe, let alone prescribe that "walking is the best exercise," is not as innocuous and self-apparent as it may seem, but is already an indoctrination and expression of what the possibilities of movement is -- and what is inherently "natural" and the "best" activities humans can be engaged in -- much less to perfect. In fact, implied in walking as what humans best ought to do, is the restriction that they should "march" together -- as though that was the ultimate objective in being able to walk at all, and dismissing the wisdom that one should ever wonder or dare to take an untrodden path -- as surely, all kinds of terrible consequences would assuredly assail them.

That was the warning to every trail blazer and pioneer in every field -- and they should not go where others have not gone before them, and only the long dead, were given that permission to go there. And the chosen ones were not a designation one could just take upon themselves if they felt up to the challenge, but only what the self-appointed, self-designated powers that be -- who always wished to remain so, had a right to determine for everybody else, as long as they were alive.

So usually it required a violent overthrow of the established order (hierarchy), for any society to move forward into the unknown and undiscovered -- unless a society had the foresight to anticipate and plan for change and progress. That is the rationale and wisdom of constitutions stating the underlying principles that guide the way -- especially at the most trying times when they are on the verge of losing their way and vision.

Many people's idea of the best exercise therefore, is that which burns the most energy to do anything -- if anything is even an objective at all. That should obviously be a poor way to condition a human to do anything -- because it makes doing anything irrelevant. A more intelligent approach would be to first consider, what needs most importantly (critically) to be done -- and structure human activity, meaning and purpose around those objectives -- which would then be, to think as clearly as possible, and to function as efficiently as possible -- and not just to prevail and persevere in a fog of understanding that is invariably dictated to them by other people they acknowledge as the predetermined masters of knowledge and authority.