How About Exercise?
One of the
most vicious cycles in nature begins with the words, "I can't
exercise because...." If the excuse is, for instance, "because
I weigh too much, and it hurts," then one simply gets heavier
and the pain gets worse. All the cells in your body are dependent
on the circulation of blood and lymph for the exchange-ofgases (oxygen,
carbon dioxide), the supply of nutrients (amino acids, fatty acids,
vitamins, and minerals), and the removal of metabolic waste.
your circulatory system steadily deteriorates. Without circulation
no tissue is properly nourished and no tissue can heal. Avoidance
of alcohol and nicotine and the use of proper food and exercise
are the prime determinants of health, all other interventions are
secondary. To be effective, aerobic exercise must make you sweat,
raise your pulse rate, raise your respiratory rate, and transiently
raise your blood pressure. While there are fancy devices and formulas
to insure that all these things happen, the real objective is to
develop an "exercise addiction" which will last for the
rest of your life, and become a part of your daily schedule. The
most important accouterments are your feet, a well-padded pair of
running shoes, and your own determination to set aside 15-60 minutes
of your daily life to "suit-up" and go out and do it.
(Physical activity at work doesn't really count.)
and accidental injuries will interfere fiom time to time. Therefore,
one should have at least three exercise modes which can be used
interchangeably. If your knees start to complain about too much
running, switch to swimming or a stationary bicycle. If a sore develops
and is painful in the water, go back to running. If the weather
goes bad, you can walk or run up the stairwell in your building.
If you have
not exercised for many years, get back into it gradually. Alternating
walking with short jogs and wind sprints is a good way to build
your exercise reserve. If there is any question of your cardiovascular
safety, better resume exercise under the careful instructions of
your physician. If you compete, watch out for the play-to-win mentality.
High acceleration injuries heal slowly at any age and the older
you get the slower they heal.
exercises (Yoga, for example) and some form of weight lifting or
muscle training are also advisable. Almost every muscle in the body
has an antagonist muscle either on the reverse side of its extremity
or in some other location. You can easily find these antagonist
muscle pairs, either by experimentation, or by a modest knowledge
of anatomy, and contract them against each other to keep them well-toned,
and perhaps even to make them stronger.
nothing more than a pad or a pillow and a bed frame under which
to hook your toes. Other forms of muscle-toning resistive exercises
are also cheap and readily available at gyms of or Parks and Recreation
departments in your area.