Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dr. Ernst Van Aaken on The Key To Living a Long Healthy Life

I recognize that over the past few decades there has been much discussion as to whether or not running is actually condusive to living a long healthy life. As mentioned recently, the reknown one time advocate of aerobic exercise, Dr.Kenneth Cooper, wrote a book that in part cautioned people on running too much. He said something to the effect that if you run more than 3 miles a day you are running for reasons other than fitness. I would dispute this statement for a variety of reasons. The main one is that it is not the aerobic running that is the problem,it's the excessive and habitual hard (anaerobic) training and racing that are potentially unhealthy. That is what is stressful to almost all systems of your body. If you ever want to read something on this subject,for starters Google in a question that asks what happens to the body after racing a marathon. You might also include the words blood values and tissue breakdown to the question, you will be surprised at what you find. In addition, you may have read something else I've learned, and that is that the majority of athletes who have raced and trained hard for years do not always live long, healthy lives. I will quickly say here that I am not discouraging hard training and racing. What I am getting at is that running is great for your health when approached in a thoughtful,intelligent manner, when the athlete recognizes the whats,whys and how they should approach their running. One example: Joe the jogger who is 35 lbs overweight should not try to run the local 5k as hard as he can. I think you see what I'm getting at. As I said before,we must think about what we are about to do before we start,not just put on the shoes and go. Dr Van Aaken,who was referenced in an earlier post, had this to say about what happens to the sedentary person,by the way, he was a huge proponent of aerobic running for those who desire a long healthy life: "The tissues and organs age as a result of insufficient blood circulation and decreased stimulation; psychological tensions and burdens hasten the process of decay; lack of activity in physical and mental functions brings about the inertia of the mental processes and breeds indolence,excessive appetite and actual laziness,until the life stream finally becomes dammed up." Running is, and continues to be, one of the the keys to a long and happy life.

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