Saturday, April 14, 2007

Walk This Way

Cardio exercise is not for everyone, strength and endurance training are also extremely effective in losing weight. People who already have a high metabolism (never stop moving or talking, most everything they do is fast) are most likely to benefit and enjoy aerobic exercise. In Traditional Chinese Medicine terms, they have a major Heart component to their existence. They also tend to be a little manic in their devotion.

Others of us don't fall into that category. America is a Liver nation, we tend to think we are right and that everyone should do as we way. Walk softly and carry a big stick as the old saying went. We still carry the stick but our footprint is much heavier. When the Liver gets arrogant it overwhelms all the organs, causing them to display their not so good qualities.

The Heart loses its way, becoming feverish and unreasonable, holding to beliefs that don't always fit the facts. The Spleen (in charge of muscle) becomes weak, leading to obsessive thought and a flabby constitution. The Lungs become congested, no longer capable of filtering pollutants and one's sense of justice becomes virtually nonexistent. The Kidneys, overtaxed by fear and repeated sexual stimulation (no, I'm not a prude), can no longer provide the backbone to face the future and perceives everything as a threat.

We are an obsessed nation. About everything. Our weight, the weather, our neighbors that we don't know personally, the latest blond in the news that it seems like we do. Everything except how the people whose lives we destroyed are going to do in the future. That's someone else's problem.

This was supposed to be a post about exercise so let's get back on topic. There is no one size fits all approach to proper health maintenance. There are plenty of people who have tried the aerobic route and gotten nowhere. Endurance increases but the weight stays right where it is, on the wrong side of the scale. I'm one of those. If I lift weights or do a lot of walking, the weight starts to slide off. The more muscle I build, the faster my resting metabolism. Forty-five minutes on the elliptical trainer increases my appetite while doing nothing to decrease my weight, I know because I did it for six months and only lost five pounds. Before my accident I lost fifty pounds and the only exercise I got was walking. Since then, I've gained thirty of it back. The orthopedist says no walking and wants to inject some artificial cartilage into my knee. Meanwhile, he wants me to lose weight and suggested the elliptical trainer. Sigh.

Whatever a person chooses to do, the activity should be fun, cost as little as possible, and be done on a relatively daily basis. Include friends and the quality of your life improves tremendously. Quality is just as important as quantity. It isn't how long you live, it's how well you live. So speaks the hedonist in me.

Crossposted at Big Brass Blog.

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