Monday, February 18, 2013

Exercise And Staying Out Of The Hospital

Sitting for long periods of time is BAD for you.  The human body needs to be put through its paces or it starts to become a lump of blubber.  The muscles start breaking down.  The heart starts pumping clogged blood.  The brain even suffers for the lack of activity.  Even though writers sit for a long time and produce great works, if they stayed in good shape, they would write even better material.

Today we are faced with even more and more reasons to stay off of our feet.  From computers, to cell phones, to jobs which can be accomplished from a recliner, there are numerous reasons to not get off of our tails.  Use it or lose it.  Writing this blog helps me stay active mentally.  Walking 30 minutes a day is enough to stave off the dying process.

SENS is an organization that is working at discovering why we age the way we do.  They are trying to find the real fountain of youth.  Worms may hold the key to living longer.  Between the ages of 27 and 35 the human body stops reproducing its cells and the ones you have begin to die permanently.  At this point you just start dying slowly until all of the cells are dead.  Of course there is more to it than that, but this is why it is so hard to stay in shape as you get older.  It takes longer to recuperate.  When you were 19, you could run, jump, skip, and get hurt only to bounce right back a day later.  Meanwhile the average 35 year old takes a few days to bounce back from strenuous activity. 

This is why the military can only operate by seeking to fill its ranks with 18 year olds.  They physically bounce back and keep right on marching.  This is also why most pro sports players are retired by the time they are 30 years old.  Until modern technology makes some more leaps and bounds the average age at the time of death will continue to be in the late 70's.  We are preprogrammed to age at a certain pace.  We can slow the reality of death down with diet and exercise, but only if used in moderation. 

The marathon runner is an extreme.  I love to run and exercise and I also keep it in moderation.  For 2/3rds of my life I exercised like a fiend.  I ran several miles a day, rode bicycles for up to 50 miles a day, lifted weights, did aerobics, and could break into a 10 mile run with 80 lbs. on my back without breaking a sweat.  Basically I was the guy that could physically break down any barrier, get knocked down, jump right up, and do it again.

Then I became a trucker.  After a couple of years of putting on weight and losing my ability to break down barriers and leap tall buildings in a single bound, I started dieting, lifting weights, running, and doing aerobics.  My diet consisted of albacore white tuna fish, soup, fig newtons, chips, and water.  Lots of water.  My exercises lasted for an hour or two a day and involved alternating muscle groups so that each one had time to heal.  I was able to get back to running 5 miles, lifting my body weight, and doing aerobics for 45 minutes.  Swimming was impractical, but I was able to find time to go windsurfing every two weeks for 10 hours a day for 3 days at a time. 

The goal is to find something that you like to do that keeps you active both physically and mentally and do it often.  This way your cells will not die as fast as someone who just sits around and does nothing.  The more activity you get, the younger you will stay for a longer period of time.  Just don't overdo it because then you will find yourself in pain or even injured and that defeats the purpose.  This will keep you from getting sick, it will boost your immune system, and it will help you avoid work related injuries from not being physically in shape. 




Marlaina said...

This is yet again my big challenge of the year, getting up and moving, regularly. Since I hate to sweat, I'm not a big fan of exercise. But I am always amazed to find out how little, regular exercise delivers a big benefit. The key is regular. Every day, walk and do some strength exercises using your own body weight is enough to get results. While we have been away, I have been exercising for a half hour every day at the hotel gym or swimming, yoga at the beach and it certainly does make me feel better. Now to keep it up on my return.

ELH said...

A 30-60 minute power walk daily , lots and lots of pushups of several varieties and some adjustable dumbells along with a improved healthier eating program seems to work very well for me..

Mom said...

Thanks, son, for this. I am having to get back in better shape as I am now being treated for diabetes, which is another dilemma for truckers to deal with due to inactivity. Sure, I am retired but I haven't been keeping up with enough activity to maintain good health. Now I must! Thanks again for this reminder.