|Use it or lose it...|
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Use it or lose
The human body and the human mind will stay relatively healthy and strong if you use them mindfully, frequently and with awareness.
By contrast, a neglected body and mind will deteriorate quite quickly...
It won't happen to me
A lot of people deny the reality of aging and death. Or, conversely, they pretend that they don't care and live carelessly...
The problem with reckless living is that it directly affects the day-to-day quality of your life. When you are in pain or your joints are inflexible, muscles weak and your mind numb - life is less fun.
Poor motor skills, impaired balance, limited coordination, flexibility, poise, gait, ambidexterity and agility will hinder your ability to move freely and spontaneously.
All day. Every day.
Metabolism slows down 90 percent after 30 minutes of sitting. The enzymes that move the bad fat from your arteries to your muscles, where it can get burned off, slow down. The muscles in your lower body are turned off. And after two hours, good cholesterol drops 20 percent. Just getting up for five minutes is going to get things going again. These things are so simple they’re almost stupid.
The downward spiral
People who don't look after themselves often experience a sharp increase in medical problems, obesity, headaches, fatigue, boredom, stress, frustration, anxiety and apathy as they get older.
These things don't improve if you ignore them. They simply get worse and worse.
Look around you... How many adults have frail, spindly legs and hulking upper bodies? Mobility problems? Poor coordination? Anxious? Annoyed? Hurried? Poor attention span?
It is common to meet someone who asserts that they are exercising, losing weight and being healthy. They have plans to learn taijiquan, go to the gym, cycle or run. It sounds terrific.
Over a matter of years they tell you the same things - all the while looking exceedingly unhealthy and overweight. In fact, all they do is talk. Meanwhile, what happens? They get more unhealthy.
No time (working)
Working people often say that they do not have time to exercise or look after themselves. This is reasonable but also inaccurate. How come other people manage?
Are you unique? Impaired? Over-burdened relative to everyone else on the planet? Probably not.
The problem lies with organising your time and the issue of what matters to you... People make time for the things that are important to them. TV. Football. Friends. Family. Surfing the web.
No time (retired)
Many retired people say: "I'm busier now than when I worked". Who is this statement pitched at? Younger people? Other retirees? It sounds somewhat implausible doesn't it?
Consider what is being said. Retiring is to cease work. How can a person who doesn't work be busier than somebody who does?
A younger person must work to financially support a mortgage/rent, pay for children's education/upbringing, a car etc. They have no choice but to work.
The retiree usually does have a choice. And they have chosen to fill they days with activities. Pretending to be at the mercy of fate is simply a transparent ploy/game intended to convey significance.
People at birth
are soft and supple:
they are hard and stiff.
When plants are alive,
they are green and bending;
When they are dead,
they are dry and brittle.
Soft and bending is the way of the living;
Hard and brittle is the way of the dying.
a great strength
that is inflexible,
Will break in the wind
like an old dead tree.
So the arrogant and the unyielding
And the humble and the yielding
Overdoing it at the weekend
People sit at a desk all day for 5 days a week, then at the weekend they catch up on the neglected chores (such as gardening). They play football. They run.
The body is unfit, the muscles have shortened during the week from neglect. Injury ensues.
Irregular, often strenuous exercise
Instead of following a frequent, measured routine throughout the week; the individual goes for 'a blast' once a week and then suffers afterwards.
People go from sitting stationary for long hours each day to suddenly undertaking rigorous, demanding exercise. They are unfit, not supple, not flexible and the muscles have become weak.
There is little or no bodily awareness.
Some people attend the gym having never exercised before...
They are given a dumbbell for the first time in their life and persuaded by a 20 year old personal trainer to perform a series of strenuous exercises.
The activity is mentally unstimulating, the 'motivational' music is too loud, their body is unaccustomed to gym work.
The same trend can be seen with running or cycling.
Instead of learning (from an expert) how to run in a healthy, age appropriate manner... the individual launches clumsily into a regime that punishes the body, aggravates the knees and harms the spine.
e.g. a lot of cyclists can be seen using off-road bicycles on the roads, peddling hard but getting nowhere.
Many runners have careworn faces with deep lines caused by emotional stress. They don't look happy when running. They look deeply upset. Their approach to running is causing them to suffer.
This sort of person lives in a strange mental realm in which they believe that spirits, auras and 'qi magic' are going to heal their bodies.
They don't have the integrity to actually exercise or eat properly; preferring instead to talk ceaselessly about 'macrocosmic orbital qi' and other such notions.
Rather than take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, many people feel that it is their doctor's job to tune them up and keep them working. This is rather naive.
You are not a car and the doctor is not a mechanic. For such people, when the body doesn't work properly, it is the doctor's fault. The doctor is to blame... Is this fair?
Medical studies have found that inactivity is as unhealthy as smoking. How scary is that?
Those long days at your desk, hours spent driving your car and those long nights watching TV or playing videogames or looking at your phone are actually making you sick.
Why not eat sensibly, exercise and relax? Live a life of quality and dignity. Find joy in what is happening right now in your life and make every day count.
18 April 2005
Last updated 21 May 2015