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Friday, January 18, 2019

Exercise for Those Who Don't! PJSC

Let’s say you don’t exercise- most adults don’t!  In fact, about 80% don’t exercise at all…  Perhaps this goes a long way in explaining just why Americans (and other western countries) are so fat, sick, and nearly dead.  (But they sure can watch long binges of Netflix!!)  

Here is the thing: exercise is essential, not optional.  Just like getting a proper diet, our environment has changed vastly since we were hunter gatherers, or even small family farmers and housewives.  Or, for that matter, from how it was even just a few short decades ago, when just to earn our livelihoods entailed quite a bit of physical work, and using the strength of our bodies to get by.  In other words, for most of human history- exercise was built into our lives!  

Not tons of endless cardio as was espoused just in the 70’s and 80’s, (which mainly destroyed joints and muscle), or violent sports such as football, (which also destroyed lots of joints and other body parts).  No- sports are not exercise.  This is an elusive concept really: for introverted types, who hate spectator sports by and large, they really don’t want to ‘do sports’, thinking that this is necessary to ‘exercise’.  

It isn’t, in fact it is quite the opposite!  Sports destroy exercise results, exploiting it while tearing it down through over-exertion and injury.  (Average pro football players die in their early 50’s).  Also, they lost muscle mass during the season, while they drive their bodies to destruction.  Sports are kind of like warfare- win at all costs- including yourself!

Exercise is like nutrition- slow and steady wins the race!  In fact, I will go so far as to say that most successful, lifelong exercisers- are those who don’t participate in organized sports, and just build exercise into their lives, enjoying the lifelong resulting health benefits.  It actually helps to not have a competitive bone in your body!

I have exercised my entire adult life, from when I was starting college at 18 on.  To me, it was simply a logical choice.  While I fell slightly into the ‘long distance running’ delusion early on, I never ran more than a few miles at a time.  I could see that it diminished muscle mass, thus destroying my hard-won strength gains!

Now I am 66, and exercise daily for about an hour or so, sometimes more sometimes less.  When I hike, or cut and move wood, or go skiing or a hundred and one other physical things- this is not exercise.  When I exercise, I make the movement as hard as possible.  When I do physical work- I make it as easy as possible, even if sometimes it is quite physically taxing.  Physical work is about efficiency, just like sports!

How do I do it?  Do I force myself??  No.  I just do it, daily- I feel so much better with it, that I hate to miss!  

Here is how you can do likewise:

When you first awaken, do stretches and mobility movements, I wouldn’t even call them ‘exercise’.   I go to my bathroom, shut the door, and begin by stretching from one side to the other while standing.  (You probably already do this, most animals do as well)!

Next, I methodically rotate each part of my body a few movements both clockwise and counter clockwise, to ‘wake each joint up’, and get the synovial fluid within the joints lubricating.  This also helps to gently awaken you, and so encourage you to methodically go through each region of your body likewise.  

Within a few minutes, you will feel totally awake and energized, ready to tackle your day!  For a video of this, see my ebook Perfectly Paleo Exercise

It will run you through all the basics.

But for now- just stop with that!!  It is really a huge step just to have rewakened the body you were given in your childhood.  Just enjoy the feeling, and thing about how it feels to have an awakened, aware physical body!  

Just as with nutrition, once begun is half done.  Have a good breakfast today, perhaps scrambled eggs and sausage, or maybe just a little sprinkled in cheese or onions.  Skip the toast, now and forever.  

That’s it: you are on your way.  

Next step: park 2 blocks away from work, or if it is the store, so be it- 2 blocks!  

Now, just build on this, incrementally- more mobility in the morning with stretching, perfect breakfast (and then lunch and supper), and perhaps more walking after dinner.  

Next week, add in pushups, stretching, and situps in front of the TV before you make breakfast!  Not a ton, just a few minutes, and then, as you get stronger and fitter, more the next day of week…