Aaron Hoopes's Blog - Posts Tagged "weight-loss"

For thousands of years the human body was used in many various physically demanding ways. Hunting, gathering, and manual labor were all a major part of life in the past. But modern life has changed everything. We live in a predominantly sedentary society in which the basic needs of life are met with as little effort as possible. The average lifestyle consists of driving in the car to go to a job where we sit in front of a computer all day. Exercise is something to be avoided as we become numb to what is happening within our bodies.
This state of being is something I call Laze. Laze can be mild, moderate or advanced and is a reflection of the sedentary lifestyle, the over indulgence in eating and the avoidance of proper exercise which characterizes the present era. Science and technology have introduced a vast array of labor saving devices, drugs and medical procedures to help us thrive in our Laze. The cell phone has replaced face-to-face meetings, our cars are nearly able to drive for themselves while we watch DVDs, and a numbing advertising onslaught from the television takes constant energy to deflect. Sometimes even going to the gym can begin to feel like work after a busy day of stress-filled events. The diet craze seems hotter than ever, yet obesity threatens to overtake smoking as the number one cause of death.
Laze is upon us.
Many of us feel as if life has gotten faster while we have become slower in dealing with it. School, job and other interests often keep us sitting still for much of the day. We drive short distances in our cars to buy fast food. We spend hours in front of the TV or computer screen filling our mind with all sorts of things distractions. We can do almost anything with a few clicks of the mouse and a hand on the remote.
We spend all that effort to make things easier, so we don’t have to exert ourselves, only to find that the easier we make things the harder it is to generate the motivation to actually do things. Eventually it can start to feel as if we are dragging our bodies around as parts begin to ache or malfunction. We enter a downward spiral that makes life more and more difficult. Obviously Laze is not healthy.
The only answer is to find something that can combat the Laze. It must be simple and easy to put into practice. It must be something that doesn’t take much time or effort. or it will be the first thing jettisoned when life intrudes.
The answer to Laze is Movement.
Let’s first be clear about movement. Movement is not exercise. It is not something you do twenty minutes a day, three days a week. Movement is much more important. It is an essential building block to good human health. If we are able to understand that movement is life and something that should be consciously incorporated our daily life then we give ourselves the opportunity to keep our bodies happy, healthy and alive.
The body is an amazing construct. We take food, water and oxygen into it and convert them to energy. This conversion process is called metabolism. The more active our metabolism, the more effective the conversion process and the more energy our bodies have. In order for our body to combat Laze we need an active metabolism. Since metabolism generates energy, the better it is working the more energy we have and the better we feel. A slow, sluggish metabolism is the perfect breeding ground for Laze. However if can make the metabolism more active we can banish Laze.
In order to increase our metabolism and keep Laze at bay there are a couple of very simple things we need to do. If you have read any of my other articles or books you will know that proper breathing is the first thing I always recommend. While there are a many different breathing methods, the simplest and most beneficial is basic abdominal breathing. In basic abdominal breathing the abdominal muscles are expanded on the inhalation (pushing the belly out) and contracted on the exhalation (pulling the belly in). This deep, rhythmic breathing brings balance to the bodily systems and allows the metabolism to rise naturally as more energy is created.
Once you are breathing properly, in order to effectively deal with Laze you must embrace the concept of movement. Movement is the best method for keeping Laze at bay because it stimulates the circulatory system which pumps blood to all areas allowing the musculoskeletal system to maintain itself. While proper eating habits are a major factor in keeping the body healthy, movement is what enables it to effectively process the food. Movement creates an active metabolism. The energy produced from the oxygen and food is dispersed through the body by moving. This movement gets the blood flowing and raises the metabolism. As the metabolism becomes more active the body wants to move more.
The most beneficial types of movements to facilitate this process are rotations of the joints and shaking the extremities. Shrugging the shoulders, circling the arms, elbows, knees and hips are all excellent exercises as are shaking out the hands and feet. These types of exercise encourage the smooth flow of energy through the meridians of the body. In this way, the metabolic process enables a flow of energy through the body so that fluids and nutrients get to the cells, allowing the systems of the body to work the way they are supposed to, without additional stress. This energy lubricates the joints and assists in releasing toxins from the body.
Laze is something that everyone struggles with at some point. But it doesn’t have to have influence in your life. By engaging in a regular schedule of simple movement activities we can keep the bodily systems active and healthy without a lot of effort.
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Published on May 25, 2010 12:12 • 281 views • Tags: aaron-hoopes, diet, exercise, health, tai-chi, weight-loss, zen-yoga