Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Making Do

Many are lost when the perfect conditions are not available to them -- as when a person's major exercise activity is swimming in a large community pool, or lifting weights in a well-equipped gym -- and they are closed indefinitely.  At that, they often fall apart and are at wit's end for accepting and adapting to those changed circumstances -- and often wonder how they can go on in life -- while a few others, will take things in stride as though it was all part of the plan.  And so you could never tell that all was not going according to plan (or expectations) but things worked out in their own mysterious and whimsical fashion -- and that is the exercise.

To be prepared for all things, is the value of any fitness program -- and not just being able to do one thing, the same way, in the same circumstances, unvaryingly every time, under ideal conditions -- without fail.  Far more valuable, is being able to do whatever one has to do -- even unexpectedly -- when and if the circumstances present themselves in that way.  That is all part of the larger plan and greater game in life -- and true measure of their fitness to adapt, survive and thrive.  That hasn't changed over the million years of evolution and progress.

We often forget that, or never thought of it in the first place -- that there is a grand scheme of things -- and not just the constant busyness so we never have to bother to think on such things.  So even when everything stops, some only wonder about the next thing, and not the challenge of the present moment in front of them.  They are already thinking, what they are going to do six months from now -- and that is never enough, will never satisfy them -- because they are already looking too far ahead to their next goal or achievement, with never a moment to appreciate the present.  No matter how much they have, they simply want more -- and the more beyond that.  Many will applaud them for that relentless, tireless ambition -- and never ask, "What is the present objective and the larger picture?"

Is it merely to do unceasingly more, or merely enough -- as is appropriate for the present circumstances and challenge?  Then surely, the future will take care of the next, and one doesn't need to know all the answers at the beginning, but will find them out when we all get there -- as we go along, and the future plays out.  Nobody is so presumptuous that they demand from others that they know all the answers and will not make any mistakes -- just as they presumably don't.  They think only what they do matters, and everybody in the world showed up just to applaud them -- as though what they do, is only for the benefit of others.

It's hard for them to come around to seriously believing that what anybody else does, matters, and could even make a difference.  But each individual acting as though it matters, makes the greatest difference -- particularly when everyone does their best to ensure their own health and well-being as their own primary responsibility -- and then the help of others can greatly help them along.  But if they simply condition themselves to resist all the efforts of others in achieving anything, much effort will be expended for very negligible results -- and even disastrous outcomes.  That is true even when they claim to only be competing against themselves -- as though that was far nobler, or more intelligent thing to do.

One of the great advantages and opportunities of exercising at home is discovering the limitless variations of which it can be done -- manifesting economy and efficiency of movement and purpose.  The value and objective of exercise is not simply to make the heart work harder, but to condition the other muscles of the body to aid and optimize the circulation that ensures the health -- and lacking that, the body is a lot less functional and well.  Few people ever really consider these things -- and why they think most efforts towards this purpose is not directly manifested and actualized.  It actually is -- but they are doing all the wrong things -- and so reaping those results.  That's the way the world works.  If one does the wrong thing, it doesn't get transmuted into the right thing -- just because one wants it that way.  That is merely wishful thinking. 

I once had a 103 year old woman as a neighbor who would frequently fall just outside her door -- and yell for help, and eventually some of the other neighbors would knock on my door to get me to pick her up -- since none of the others had the strength or know-how to do it themselves.  Finally, I asked her why she kept on doing it, and she told me it was because her doctor told her to get outside and walk for 30 minutes each day -- although he knew she was legally blind, as well as frail, and the rolling walker was set much too high for her to be able to put her weight on it -- and so once on a walk with her to see what she could safely and reasonably do, the walker slid ahead and she did not have the grip strength to lock the wheels -- and so I caught her just as she was about to hit the ground, still holding on to the walker zooming ahead.

I made the optimal height adjustments for her -- but was dumbfounded whatever hospital had released her to return to her own independent living again, had done such a thoughtless job -- as well as the absolutely dangerous advice to walk around the neighborhood blind for 30 minutes each day.  I suggested she'd be much better off just staying inside in the safety of her apartment, holding on to the back of a chair, and shifting her weight from left to right, while articulating the full range movement at the ankle -- of toes fully up, or heel fully up with the foot supporting no weight -- because the fullest range of movement, also achieved the fullest muscular contraction.  The usefulness of a full contraction alternated with a full relaxation in that muscle (joint), is that it simulates the pumping action of the heart -- from that extremity to the heart.  Most people misunderstand that the heart plays no significant role in pumping the blood back towards the heart -- but only affects the blood pumping out to the extremities -- if there is room for it.

But if there is no strong contraction being produced at the extremities of the body -- notably the neck, hands, and feet -- instead of an optimized flow, there is only resistance from the fluids already in there -- not being pumped out vigorously because most modern sedentary people never think to move that way anymore.  Thus, the head, hands and feet become the telltale areas of the human body that show that atrophy and deterioration most obviously and visibly as the signs of aging -- even though a rare few still maintain an impressive midsection or biceps -- "for an old guy."  However, if the circulation is optimized, the healthful vitality can remain -- because that is what optimizing the circulation does.

It's not about lifting heavy weights -- as it is just increasing the flow to and out of the area one wishes to develop and maintain optimally -- for as long as one continues to do it.  The range of movement, determines the extent of the contraction -- and no resistance is required to achieve that contraction.  In fact, the use of too heavy a weight, may restrict the range of movement, and thus the extent of the contraction -- and the alternating relaxation phase, thus enhancing very little blood flow.  Meanwhile, the heart is still working (beating) harder -- but to no avail, because the blood flow is essentially blocked because of little change in the muscle from full contraction to full relaxation at the extremity -- just as the heart must do in order to be effective.  The heart cannot just contract 50% and relax 50% -- or any other half-hearted effort, but can only contract 100% and relax 100% -- and thus the heart rate indicates the difference.

But still, it is only half of the story, because the focus one can strive to control -- is the muscular contraction at the extremity -- which mimicking the alternation of the heart, optimzes the circulation to the greatest extent -- particularly at the organs of human cognition and expression at the head, hands and feet.  When those areas do not decline prematurely, no one can tell one is pretty good for even an old guy, because that person does not look old.  Neither do they act (function) old.

That is the missing ingredient in the "aging" bodybuilders.  Those are the areas that betray them -- because they are not deliberately addressed and exercised -- and more than anything else, would make the best sense to do so.  As it is, their head, hands and feet, look like they're barely functional, and often misshapen and disfigured for lack of that proper exercise (circulation).  Just working the heart infinitely harder doesn't do it.  That should be Bodybuilding 101 by now.  The area one actually works (articulates), is the area that will be most well developed.  But ignoring that, will not get one the desired results no matter how much they can still retain bicep or midsection development.  That is not what reveals them.

In fact, if they do nothing else, they should maintain the muscularity at the neck, forearms, calves -- and let the rest take care of itself in their own proper role as supporting muscular structures -- and not the primary muscles of expression.  With that optimized flow out to those areas, the skin will have a look of youthfulness -- rather than that awful deadness, and lack of vitality -- that belies them.  Skin moisturizer would also go a long way in older men who think they shouldn't care about such things.  Women do, and that makes a huge difference in them.  That's not cheating -- and makes much more sense than applying a fake tan all over ones wrinkled skin.

There are miracle products these days -- often surprisingly inexpensive -- even under $10 for a huge jar.  To be living in these times and not taking advantage of every advantage is quite a waste.  Most people are stunted in their thinking -- "what was good for those living one hundred years ago -- or even the last century, is good enough for me."  That's what it takes to be the first person to 100, who doesn't look 100.  That is the race worth winning -- and the springboard for life beyond.  Not just people living on life support and caregiving, for virtually forever.  Life is better than that.


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