Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sedentary? Not !

     For many years now I have made a regular daily practice of walking for exercise every morning. I found it was the most economical and effective way to get my exercise for the day. I started with walking about  a half hour in the mornings when I was in my early twenties and then expanded it to a full 45 minutes then to an hour later on, encouraged by a weight loss of twenty pounds. I was nearly too thin for my frame.
     After that, I became very fitness-minded and have incorporated other exercise for cross-training. The idea behind cross-training is never allowing your body to get indifferent to a single activity. By continually evolving in your daily practice, every muscle of your body is at least contralaterally exercised if not literally. Covert Bailey wrote, "The more trained muscle a person has, the greater the crossover response in unused muscle...Muscles that are heavily used in ( a )  sport produce lactic acid, which can then be processed by aerobically developed muscles that are not being overused during the sport."
     What this essentially does is make your body more efficient in burning fat which is the usual reason people exercise. You see, no matter your activity, you burn fat all day long. People who are overweight to obese are simply not efficient fat burners.
     I have a favorite Conrad quote that I think about, occasionally, when I walk.
          "Action is consolatory. It is the enemy of thought and the friend of flattering illusions."
     I suppose that the more thoughtful, sedentary part of myself is chiding the restless spirit which says, "Don't just sit there, do something." I know, however, that with all the hours I spend writing- not moving, mind you!- I am very justified in giving my body the proper amount of exercise to balance my life, spirit and physical being.
     Apparently Conrad took a view that people of action really didn't put much thought into it. However, Nietzsche wrote, "Only thoughts reached by walking have value." There are many writers who took long solitary walks- many were English- The Brontees, Alexander Pope and many more.
     I have personally found that walks can be inspirational but often they just seem to have a calming effect which is essential to being able to write well and clearly. Most recently studies conducted in France, Sweden and the U. S. are indicating that regular exercise- by elevating cardio-respiratory fitness in study subjects- can also correlate with improved brain function because it stimulates the manufacturing of neurotransmitters (hormones). These would, in turn, make a better environment conducive to writing and reading since a clear, receptive brain is always better than a mind bogged down with worry, cares or emotional upheaval. I guess you could say that walking is the opportunity to cross-train for excellent writing ! Writing is a rather lonely profession, but if you enjoy being alone with your thoughts then both walking and writing are a path to pleasure and enlightenment. I highly recommend both !
Pour ton plaisir, embrasses et bisous! The Castle Lady

No comments: