Get Up and Move

Why the Name?

On the basis of the statement and song title “Get Up, Stand Up” (Bob Marley and Peter Tosh) the name of this site has been chosen “Get Up And Move”, with the intention to provide some tips & tricks to engage in moderate sport activities, but of course with less or none political context.
Another intention is, to provide some resources, which might be useful, if you know someone, be it friends, family, the significant other or colleagues, who might benefit from an advice presented with a wink.

Sport everywhere!

A new religion?

Most people have some positive experience with exercises. Some of us also have made negative experiences, especially with the mandatory “training” during their younger years (especially at school).
However, sport related activities are omnipresent. Be it in the park, where joggers fulfil their daily quantum of counting miles, or on TV, where at least a third of the presented advertising is somehow related to physical activities.
And of course, let’s not forget TV. A lot of people (admiringly mostly men) are glued in front of the television whenever there is a World Cup or Grand Prix broadcasted.
But what seems fairly easy, when watching it on the TV-Screen, even most naturally gifted athletes have to go to great length, to get to the pinnacle of their respective discipline. We watch sports for the excitement and the drama: who, or which team, is going to win the tournament. For aficionados, sport is the epitome of hard work, dedication and, last but not least, victory.

How much sport is good for you?

The answer is ...

What is the motivation for our own physical exercise? The answer: “Drama and Excitement” will be true only in rare cases. Many people engage in sportive activities for health reasons. A subset of the world’s population has a bad conscience when being reminded that their own physical engagement is somehow below standards. This view might not be shared by their physician, since it is commonly accepted that sport is a good thing to do, but too much can be harmful, and there are no scientific proven quantities of how many miles to run or how many hours of yoga are actually helpful.

This commonly known adage The dose makes the poison was first expressed by Paracelsus (1493 – 1541, Swiss-German alchemists and physician) intended to indicate a very basic principle, which holds true for sports and also for food.

How much sport is good for you? This is mostly a very individual matter and cannot be answered by general rules. It seems that ever since the human race left the world of cages and woods behind them, the tendency to actually move their body declined massively, and was also a reason to coin the term couch potato. But we all know people, who have reached an old age, without any noticeable sportive activities, the venerable Winston Churchill, who spent 91 years on this plane, being one of them. Not only is he a very prominent person in British history, famous for making ample use of the so called “V-sign”, but also the author of the quote “No sports”, which seemingly expressed his conviction about the topic.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

And what happend to it ever since?

If losing weight is on your New Year’s resolution, you will be like most Americans. Every year millions of people want to lose weight, and never do.

What can you do?

Yes, you can!

Here are some tips for physical activities which you can perform with almost no equipment:

  • Tai Chi (Chinese origin) or Yoga (Indian origin)
  • Fascia Training or Pilates method (both of German origin)
  • Jogging, Aerobics or enroll into a gym (all more or less American origin)
  • Cycling (biking), Swimming or Walking
  • Rock Climbing or In-Line Skating
  • Even some sports games on a console require significantly more movement than just sitting in a chair.
  • Dancing: yes! Be it the classical variant like Waltz or one of more intense ones like Rock ’n’ Roll (and then there is Salsa, Tango, ...)
  • Buy a smart phone AND play Pokemon Go! Seriously.

The aim is not necessarily to participate or even win the next New York City Marathon (TSC). Set yourself only goals which you can realistically achieve. That means among other things:

  • Be specific: the three W’s; What, Where and When? The time specification “Next year” is not specific.
  • Start slowly, but do start. One hour yoga practice every Sunday morning is a start!
  • Find a partner. Two is already a group. A companion is a great help for motivation!
  • Get the right equipment (dress appropriate: neither jeans nor cheap sneaker will help here).
  • Chose an activity you like and enjoy! There is no point, if you have some averse feelings about the exercise itself or the environment.

And to round it up, a mischievous (slightly modified) quote, from the actor (and statesman) Ronald Reagan: Hard work never killed anybody, but why take the risk?

Balanced Fitness Program

The Mayo Clinic has identified five (5) essential areas

A report has been released by the Mayo Clinic that identifies five (5) areas that need to be targeted for a balanced fitness program. The areas identified in the report include 1) aerobic fitness, 2) muscular fitness, 3) stretching, 4) core stability and 5) balance training. Each item will be discussed below.

  1. Aerobic Fitness:
    Aerobic fitness is often called cardiovascular fitness. Aerobic fitness is essential to weight loss and total fitness because it helps the lungs, heart and blood vessels move oxygen through the system more efficiently.
    Aerobic or cardiovasculr exercise should be done at least two and one half (2-1/2) hours each week for a moderate aerobic activity or at least seventy five (75) minutes for vigorous exercise. Aerobic exercises should be spread throughout the week.
  2. Muscular Fitness:
    Muscular fitness exercise should be done at least two to three times during the week. Muscular exercises help with muscular fitness along with increasing bone strength. Muscular strength is necessary as we grow older.
    Equipment is not necessary to maintain muscular fitness if you have a fitness program that includes body strengthening exercises like push-ups, chin ups and squats along with others.
  3. Stretching:
    Stretching is sometimes forgotten but it is critical for a well rounded program. All fitness coaches recommend that stretching be included in their fitness programs. All exercises make the muscles contract and flex so stretching of the muscles also needs to be included for a well rounded workout.
    Stretching is especially important for the later years to keep the body flexible to avoid a lot of the injuries that accompany old age.
  4. Core Stability:
    Core muscles are those in the body and include the abdomen muscles, lower back and the pelvis area. They should be included in fitness programs because they are needed for upper and lower body movements.
  5. Balance Training:
    Balance is often forgotten in physical fitness programs but it needs to be included in a well rounded program. Balance is essential to everyday life functions and it tends to deteriorate with age so it imperative that a good program be maintained.
    Developing a good balance training regimen will add quality to life.

Incorporate all five (5) elements into everyday life and it will go a long way to insure better health.

 

The cult of the gym

Working out is painful and boring. So why bother?

The legendary British Newspaper published (in 2002) a hilarious rant about the pain and frustration, people experience when signing a gym membership for regular work-outs on infernal machines.

It starts with: AT AN hour when he would usually prefer to be asleep, your correspondent drags himself into an LA Fitness gym in north London. In the changing room, he finds a reassuringly fat man forlornly weighing himself; but the other early birds wrestling with the weights machines look dauntingly fit and expert. Nursing a mild hangover and grave doubts about his vocation, he prepares to meet his nemesis.
His nemesis is an affable personal trainer, who is initiating him into the cult of the gym. Questioned about his exercise regime, your correspondent mumbles something about playing soccer from time to time. The instructor is not impressed, and introduces him to a series of contraptions that look like instruments of torture. The new boy and the step-trainer do not see eye to eye. After much sweating and huffing, the instructor estimates that it will take six months for the novice to get into shape, if he eats healthily and sticks to mineral water. The pupil makes his excuses and leaves just before the “fat burner” class begins; the trainer amicably promises to take the relieved smile off his face if he shows it in the gym again.
This humiliating ordeal is of course familiar to millions. It will soon be familiar to many more: the busiest time for gym recruitment is just after Christmas, when seasonal gluttony and optimistic new-year resolutions impel the slothful to take drastic action. The other bumper recruitment times tend to be just before the summer holidays (for which people want to look nice) and just after them (when they realise that, alas, they didn't).

And ends with: In the end, gym-attendance, like most popular religions, probably has something to do with fear of death and the quest for immortality—as if a well-toned body could somehow stave off the day of judgment. Which, unfortunately, is just another way in which it is liable to lead to disappointment.
Gyms may not actually be bad for most people who go to them; but, as a wise man once inquired about hard work, why take the risk?

Source of the article: http://www.economist.com/node/1487649; from the "Christmas Specials" section of the print edition.

Live Long and Prosper!