6 POWERFUL FORMS OF EXERCISE
THE IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE
The reason that a lot of people who are in their 80's would break their hip if they fell down, isn't just because they are in their 80's, but it is usually because they have spent the past 1, 2, or even 3 decades retired and avoiding physical activity, and because of this their bodies have become weaker and more fragile and vulnerable to injuries.
Lack of physical activity can result in brittle bones, stiff joints, muscle loss, fat gain, and a weakened immune system. So it is very important to remain physically and mentally active as you get older.
THE MOTIVATION TO EXERCISE
A lot of people say that they love long romantic walks with someone on the beach, but they probably don't enjoy long walks alone on a treadmill. (Hence the nickname "dreadmill".) This is because when you are excited about something you can do amazing things with seemingly no effort because you are putting so much of you focus on what you are excited about, but once that excitement is gone, it will quickly become all too clear to you just how much effort is required to do what you are doing.
"It's so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to."
- Annie Gottlier
TRY LISTENING TO MOTIVATIONAL MUSIC
If you find yourself not feeling the motivation to exercise, something that is guaranteed to help is to simply turn on some upbeat music that you enjoy.
In the past soldiers were equipped with guns, swords, and "battle drums", and the reason that they included "drums" in their arsenal was because soldiers marching to the beat of a drum can march faster and further without getting tired than soldiers who are marching without a beat.
TRY WATCHING MOTIVATIONAL VIDEOS
Watching motivational videos before a workout can also get you excited, and below are some good ones that I like...
A video that shows that it is never too late to get in shape.
A video that shows that we can do a lot more than we think we can.
6 EXERCISES THAT I HIGHLY RECOMMEND
- WALKING IS WHAT WE WERE DESIGNED TO DO
Because we have domesticated dogs, people will take their dogs for walks to try to make up for the fact that dogs are no longer walking anywhere near as much as they were designed to, and due to our modern-day sedentary lifestyles, we too would benefit greatly by adding some walking back into our lives.
* And by the way, if you are a creative person, you may very well find that many of your best ideas come to you while walking.
- WALKING IS THE SAFEST FORM OF EXERCISE
Regardless of whether you walk 1 mile, jog 1 mile, or run 1 mile, you will be burning close to the same number of calories, but the faster you are moving the more dangerous the exercise becomes.
Running and jogging can of course increase the chance of tripping and falling, but it can also cause serious damage to your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back over time if you are are doing it on rough terrain, wearing shoes that aren't ideal for exercise, or if you are overweight and your joints simply can't take the pounding. But walking is very easy on the joints and is one of the safest forms of physical exercise there is.
As far as speed goes, when you go for a walk, it would be best if you were walking fast enough that your heart rate increases, but not so fast that you would have difficulty having a conversation with someone walking beside you due to how much you are huffing and puffing.
* And by the way, if you have a friend who wants to walk with you and keep you company, I would encourage you take them with you, because not only will having someone to talk to make walking funner and easier, but you may very well find that you have far more interesting and deep conversations when you are outside walking than when you are inside sitting down.
- WALKING IS A WAY OF RECONNECTING WITH NATURE
Not only were we designed to walk, but we were designed to walk outdoors, and although walking on a treadmill might be better than not walking at all, you will not be getting the all the additional benefits of walking outdoors, such as fresh air, sunshine, and natural scenery.
* And by the way, you may find that when you walk in nature you literally start to turn into a philosopher.
2. JUMPING ON A TRAMPOLINE
Before getting into the amazing benefits of jumping on a trampoline (also known as "rebounding") I want to stress that a mini trampoline will give you the same health benefits that a large trampoline will, but it would be best to get a premium one that comes with a multi-year warrantee, because the inexpensive trampolines sold at places like Walmart aren't built to last.
- JUMPING ON A TRAMPOLINE WILL STRENGTHEN EVERY SINGLE CELL IN YOUR BODY
If a person weighs 100 pounds and they glued a scale to their feet, the scale would say that they weighed "100 pounds" if they were standing still, but if they were jumping on a trampoline, the scale would say that they weighed "0 pounds" at the top of each jump when they are in the air and weightless, and then it would say that they weighed "300 pounds" each time that they came back down and landed on the trampoline.
And it is at the moment when a scale says that you weigh 3 times more than normal that your muscles engage to make the next jump, and since gravity is 3 times stronger than normal at the beginning of the jump, the intensified gravitational force (known as "G force") causes the cells in your body to have to work harder than normal and therefore provides a powerful "cellular workout".
- JUMPING ON A TRAMPOLINE WILL STIMULATE YOUR LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
We each have about 100,000,000,000,000 cells in our body (100 trillion) and like any other living creatures, each one of our cells eats and excretes waste, and this cellular waste can build up in our bodies and cause problems if they aren't eliminated.
Fortunately, we also have a "lymphatic system" which produces "lymph fluid", and one of the purposes of "lymph fluid" is to basically give each one of our cells a bath and to then transport the cellular waste that they have created out of the body.
But unlike our blood which has a heart that pumps and circulates it for us automatically, our lymphatic system has no actual pump, and it instead gets stimulated through our physical movement, so it is important to stay active, and jumping on a trampoline has specifically been shown to be one of the most effective forms of exercise for stimulating your lymphatic system.
- JUMPING ON A TRAMPOLINE WILL END DEPRESSION AND MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD
We're all familiar with the expression "jumping for joy", and just like young children enjoy jumping on their beds and astronauts enjoy doing somersaults when they are in space, jumping on a trampoline is a really fun way of experiencing weightlessness.
Jumping on a trampoline is so much fun that once I start doing it, I don't want to stop, and I think that it would be virtually impossible to be jumping on a trampoline and feeling depressed at the same time.
Antidepressants are currently the most prescribed drug in America, and studies are starting to show that exercise is just as effective at reducing depression as many of the leading brands of antidepressants are, so if you're feeling down, see if jumping on a trampoline doesn't "uplift" you and provide you with a natural high.
Swimming is a wonderful and low-pact form of exercise that puts virtually no stress on the joints, so it is especially good for people who have joint problems or other physical injuries that make other forms of exercise difficult.
Even babies who haven't learned to walk yet can engage in swimming, but as wonderful as swimming can be, I only recommend it in a natural body of water, and I don't recommend swimming in public swimming pools for the following reasons...
- PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS ARE FULL OF ADDED TOXIC CHEMICALS
Even though you are immersed in water when you are swimming, as soon as you get out of a public swimming pool your first instinct will probably be to take a shower, and this is because of all the chemicals that are added to the water and that are now all over your skin and hair, and that may even be causing your eyes to burn.
Public swimming pools are usually loaded with chemical sanitizers such as "chlorine" as well as PH balancing chemicals such as "hydrochloric acid", and if you poured these same chemicals into a fish tank the fish would likely die.
So if you walk up to a public swimming pool and you can smell the chemicals that are in it, or you can actually see the chemicals because there are so many of them that they are actually causing the water to look gray and "cloudy", then please don't get in the water, because although swimming is good for you, swimming in a pool with all those chemicals in it will be about as healthy as walking on a treadmill while you are in a room full of people who are smoking.
- PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS ARE FULL OF STRANGERS
There's an old Indian saying that says, "You can't point at the same river twice." and the meaning of this saying is that natural bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and oceans are in constant motion, and are therefore constantly changing and purifying themselves.
But when you are in a public swimming pool, the water is stagnant and full of other people, so it's basically no different than being in a giant bathtub with a large group of people, which isn't the most sanitary thing to do, and is the reason why so many "sanitizers" are added to the water.
- PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS ARE FULL OF TAP WATER
Even if you find a public swimming pool that doesn't add any chemicals to the water, keep in mind that the water used to fill the pool will almost certainly be "tap water". (Which is already a concoction of toxic chemicals to begin with.)
So I wouldn't recommend swimming in ANY public swimming pool, because they will all contain harmful chemicals that no "lifeguard" can protect you from.
You may not remember this, but on the day you were born you were more physically and mentally flexible then the most advanced yogi in the world, and a regular yoga practice is the best way to help you regain this flexibility.
In the 76th verse of the "Tao Te Ching" it says that all life, including the trees and the plants, are soft and flexible at birth, but hard and stiff at death, and therefore "flexibility" is a companion of life, and "stiffness" is a companion of death.
Although physical postures are a part of yoga, they are not the most important thing, and yoga is ultimately about self-realization, and becoming more aware of the fact that we are all connected. But in the meantime, I would encourage you to get a yoga mat and watch some free yoga classes for beginners on YouTube.
Weightlifting would benefit everyone, and for anyone reading this who might be "underweight", the best way to gain some "healthy weight" is to gain it in the form of muscle mass through a regular weightlifting program.
It takes time to develop strength and build muscle, but you can speed up the process dramatically by following the same principles that construction workers use when they want to build a new building.
To build a new building (or to build new muscle) you will need the following 3 basic things...
1. Labor (Workouts)
2. Materials (Good Nutrition)
3. Time (Rest & Recovery)
And before you can start building a new building (or a new body) you will also need the following 3 things if you want to get results as quickly and as efficiently as possible...
1. "A Blueprint"
If you workout with the vague goal of "wanting to get in shape" it would be like if construction workers showed up to a work site with the vague goal of "wanting to build a building", and it can not be stressed enough how important it is to have a clear vision of whatever it is that you are wanting to create.
If you want to build something with speed and precision, you need to know how to use the tools and equipment that are at your disposal, and lifting weights with proper form and technique is so important for getting good results (and so important for your safety) that I recommend watching and studying tutorial videos on YouTube showing exactly how you should perform each of the lifts that you plan to do in your workouts.
Before you can build a new building, the old one must first be torn down, and before you can can build a new body, the old habits and beliefs that have been keeping you stuck where you are at must first be demolished so that major reconstruction can truly begin.
6. GET A WORKOUT BY SIMPLY BEING AN ACTIVE PERSON
Try to imagine just how utterly useless something like a treadmill would have been to our ancient ancestors.
Our ancient ancestors didn't need gyms, barbells, or exercise programs, because physical exercise was involved in virtually everything that they did. But now that we have invented "labor saving machines" that have reduced the amount of labor we have to do down to almost nothing, a great way to get in better shape is to simply start doing things the old-fashioned way again.
We've all heard advice like this over years...
* Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
* Walk to places that are nearby instead of driving to them.
* Use a push mower to mow your yard instead of a riding lawnmower.
- CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT "WORK"
I grew up in the country, and there was no electric heating in the house that I grew up in, so in order to stay warm in the winter, me and my family would have to spend the summer doing "woodwork". (Which ment going into the forest and cutting down dead trees, and then chopping them into small logs that could be used as "firewood".)
I would dread having to do "woodwork" as a kid because of how hard it was, and I would always ask my dad, "Do I have to do woodwork today?" and he would respond by telling me, "No, you GET to do woodwork today."
It would always annoy me whenever he would say that to me, but over time I started to realize that just like "Wayne Dyer" used to say, "When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change."
For some people, watching the training scene from one of the "Rocky" movies (or even just hearing the theme music from "Rocky") is enough to get them totally pumped up and motivated to work-out, and for me personally, I dreaded doing "woodwork" until one day I saw the movie "Rocky 4" and "Rocky" was doing "woodwork" as exercise. From then on, I associated doing "woodwork" with becoming strong like "Rocky", and "woodwork" become exercise that I kind of enjoyed that I was I happy to GET to do.
- CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT "PLAY"
I grew up in the 80's, long before the days of internet and cellphones, and one of the most common ways that parents would punish their kids back then would be by telling them that they couldn't go outside and play. But because children today have become so non-active and out of shape, and because they now just play video games (which only requires the physical exercise of their thumbs) telling them to go outside and play nowadays would probably be considered "punishment", and maybe even "child abuse" to some!
As sedentary lifestyles have risen, so have the salaries of professional athletes, and I believe that if people got healthier and more physically fit, they would naturally become a lot more energetic and playful, and they would start to become far more interested in going outside and playing games themselves than they would be in paying to watch other people go outside and play.