Archive for Stretching

Commitment to “Health”

What is health?

What is a practical, approach to health?

We have all found web-sites dedicated to health and health related items. We have all seen the advertisements (televised, print, broadcast and Internet) providing “miracle” cures to our health problems. These miracles usually involve the ingestion of some chemical of some sort. Diet pills, diet shakes, diet this and that.

Take a moment to think about this, you are led to believe that if we ingest (take in) something, that we will some how lose something. Now ask yourself this, when you lose something, how does it leave your body? There are two non-surgical answers: feces, and vomit. Neither of which are pleasurable and vomiting is rarely healthy.

The question of finality is this, how do “I” become healthy? There is no universal answer to this; we are very different, both chemically and mentally.

What we hope to explore here are some ways to discover your health goals, the ways they can work for you, and places to find help.

Every part of our life affects our health. Every thought you take creates some form of change or “stress,” wither positive or negative, on your body. Every moment of every day your body is undergoing change. Each heart beat requires energy (usually in the form of calories). What we need to learn is that our body is ready from the moment of birth to be healthy. All the tools are present for us. Our only true goal is control our actions and decisions in our daily life.

Each year doing what is best for your body is harder and harder, both externally and internally. The external factors are the increasing “greasiness” of the food that is readily available, the declining environmental factors, and pressure influences (these include, what our friends/family do, what advertisements we see, and what is geographically close to you.)

The internal factors are different for each. One person may have a syndrome or disease they have that affects them. Another person might have a higher metabolism through genetics that helps them. As you age your body gets more “adjusted” to its current state, and changing it to a better state is more difficult.

The first step is to create a goal, what do you want out of your health? Do you want to be able to run a marathon, or run around the block? For most people that answer is very simple, “I want above average health.” I want to look and feel good. Very few people plan on being in the Olympics. Most people want to spend as little time as possible with the best results. That in itself is the problem. What is more important then your health? All else should come second in your life, for when your health fades, all else suddenly becomes less important.

What is your health goal? You must define the goal in absolute terms to be able to aim absolutely. “I want to look good in a swim suit,” is much too vague. Which swim suit, why just that suit, why not looking great in the nude? Why do you want to look good in that suit? What is your motivation?

Here is a description more along the lines I am looking for:

“I want to run the Boston Marathon in three hours and fifteen minutes by the next running.”

Do you see the specifics? A very nailed down goal, not just, “I want to run a marathon,” not just “I want to run the Boston Marathon,” but a specific time for running it and a date to do it by.

Your goals are hopefully not as lofty as this. Perhaps this is a better goal; “I want to be able to do 100 sit-ups in a minute by four weeks from now.” That is an attainable goal.

So you have your first goal, now what? Next we need to remove crutches from your life. What is a crutch? A crutch is anything we use as an excuse for our less then average health. This can be as temporary as a bout with a cold, as mundane as a twisted ankle, or as overwhelming as missing body parts. The most common crutch is time, “I simply do not have the time to eat right or work out.” As I stated before, we are all unique, and your commitment level is directly reflected by your ability to remove crutches.

Here is an example of one type of crutch:

“I play basketball three days a week as part of my health routine. Recently my knees have begun to pain me when I jump during play. This favoring of my knees has really affected my play, and taken the joy out of my exercise, which in turn has affected my motivation.” –Jon

Now Jon is probably going to play less basketball because of his knees. So that beneficial activity he enjoyed will now be diminished. Many people would quit altogether.

Here is what Jon did:

“I researched new stretching techniques to partake before and after my games. I also purchased an exercise DVD focused on knees and legs to help strengthen them. I purchased a support for my one knee which still had some aches after games even after the stretching and DVDs. Now my problems are all but gone. There is still some stiffness the following day, but that too is also reducing weekly.”

Jon removed his crutch, and turned it into an advantage. His legs are now stronger, and he is more flexible and faster. He enjoys his basketball more and plays even harder then ever before, thus improving his workout.

So for your assignment: Create several goals and think about your crutches. The next posting will be about creating goals for your health and helpful items to begin you on your journey to Above Average Health.


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