I was doing some reading last night and came across the following passage written by Doctor Andrew Weil, one of my favorite author’s on Health and Fitness. If you are not aware of Dr. Andrew Weil, you should familiarize yourself with his amazing body of work.
Doctor Weil a graduate of the Havard Medical School, this American author and highly trained physician that is best known for establishing and popularizing the field of intergrative medicine.
Dr. Weil’s general view is that patients do best utilizing both mainstream and alternative medicine. In general, he believes that mainstream medicine is well-suited to crisis intervention, and alternative medicine is best utilized for prevention and health maintenance. He believes integrative medicine is an intelligent combination of both, and that the focus on healing should be on the body’s own internal healing mechanisms and system. Nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction are emphasized in almost all of Weil’s health works.
WHY MUST WE EXERCISE?
By. Dr. Andrew Weil
The idea of “taking exercise” would have seemed ridiculous to our ancestors. Throughout much of history mere survival demanded a level of physical activity that made rest an ultimate luxury. Rarely have people been able to be so sedentary that they needed to exercise apart from their routine of daily living. But in today’s industrialized world most people do not have to hunt, fish, or work the fields to get food. We do not have to walk or run long distances to get from one place to another, or chop down trees to build shelters and make fires. Most of us sit while we work, sit while we travel, and sit during our leisure time. The exercise period is a distinctly modern invention.
The news media tell us constantly that physical fitness is not what it should be in our society, that standards of fitness are lax, that children today are not physically fit. The term fitness refers to adaptation. A fit individual is well adapted to his or her environment, able to respond to its changing demands. Many people today who are physically inactive are fit enough for the minimal demands of their comfortable, non-challenging environments. If you have enough energy and muscle tone to walk up the occasional flight of stairs, mow the grass on weekends, walk the dog, and bend down to open the dishwasher, you may feel you have no reason or need to take up an exercise program. I hear this argument often.
The flaw in it is, that our bodies evolved in very demanding environments and are meant to be used. If they are not used, they deteriorate faster than they should. Many of the illnesses that plague our society result from under use of our bodies. Clearly the prevalence of heart and artery disease correlates as much with lack of aerobic exercise as it does with unhealthy diets. Insufficient aerobic activity and weigh training also predisposes us to musculoskeletal disorders, gastrointestinal problems, nervous and emotional illnesses, and a long list of other ailments.
Visit Dr. Andrew Weil Here: http://www.drweil.com
· Health and Healing (1983, rev. 2004)
· Spontaneous Healing (1995)
· Natural Health, Natural Medicine (1995, rev. 2004)
· 8 Weeks to Optimum Health (1997, rev. 2006)
· Eating Well for Optimum Health (2000)
· The Healthy Kitchen with Rosie Daley (2002)
· Healthy Aging (2005)
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