Have you heard of the golden mean? It was a term coined by the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle, over 2,000 years ago.
It is the middle state between two extremes – although not necessarily the exact middle – different degrees are needed for different situations.
Knowing exactly what is appropriate in a given situation, is difficult and requires self improvement and experience.
It applies to so many things – breathing with the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide,
when should we rely more on logic and when more on gut feelings and intuition?
in music – keeping an orchestra in harmony, or mixing the levels of a piece of music by the sound engineer.
Changing course and let me ask you a question.
What would you pay for a pill that prevented or severely reduced heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, depression, diabetes, obesity?
The answer is you don’t need a pill, the answer to all of those is more exercise and movement in your life
If exercise were a drug it would cost a fortune.
But like any drug you have to get the dose right.
Too little has no effect.
Too much can be very damaging.
The right amount starts with a requirement of walking 15 minutes a day or around 150 minutes a week
but obviously doesn’t have to be walking and could be cycling, swimming ,
and even cleaning a house involves a lot of movement,
but too much exercise causes problems.
Every minute your heart sends 5l of blood around the body.
Look at your fist – thats roughly the size of your heart.
A good heart has about 3 or 4 billion beats in its lifetime.
Which is roughly a billion beats every 30 years.
if you can reduce your heart rate by making your heart work more efficiently, this has numerous benefits for the body.
And we’ll get into that in one of the blogs on breathing.
Let’s say that your resting heart rate is around 45bpm
If you were doing a hard workout and your heart rate was around 172bpm. The heart is then pumping 35l blood pm or 10 gallons pm
The heart is a pump – in between beats it fills,
How much volume it can accumulate is a very important factor.
When the body is working hard, the heart is sucking blood out of the lungs and venous system and it also throws out a lot of free-radicals and causes lots of oxidative stress.
We have a lot of circulating buffers to neutralise those free radicals, but we deplete those after 45/50 mins of high intensity exercise.
When they’re depleted you start doing damage to blood vessels and start over-taxing the heart muscle.
When you’re in your 20s you’re very resilient, and can get away with this.
After aged 45 this starts taking a big toll on the body.
A guy named Kenneth Cooper came up with a formula for running,
of 2 to 3 miles a day, 3 to 5 days a week, at a relaxed aerobic pace.
We’ll cover the difference between aerobic and anaerobic in another post.
That is enough running for exercise.
He said “If you run more than 15 miles a week, you’re running for reasons other than fitness.”
We started with a famous Greek and will end with a different one.
The famous Greek physician, Hippocrates’ view on Movement, Physical Activity & Exercise. …
“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”
Which brings us nicely back to the golden mean, where we started.