Dr. Wysong's Blog -
BE A BODY BUILDER
In the quest for health and good looks, people spend a lot of time on scales nervously charting body weight. Here’s a better idea. Shed the clothes and look in the mirror. Then be truthful about what you see.
If you don’t like what you see, do something about it. One of the best ways to remodel the body and stimulate health is body building. I’m not suggesting trying to look like the steroid and hormone fueled Hereford bulls in bodybuilding magazines, but rather fit, strong, and well shaped.
Body building is best accomplished through weight training. I mean serious training using enough weight to go to failure in about 12 repetitions. You need to do enough sets working the various muscle parts (not necessarily all in one session) to feel a muscle pump. Do the whole routine aggressively enough to be spent in about 20 minutes. Do a routine about three times per week. No, going to the fitness center and lying down on a soft mat to “stretch” will not cut it.
Whereas aerobic exercise takes a lot of time and can tend to wear out bones and joints, and even decrease muscle size, weight training sculpts the body adding and subtracting where it looks best. Rather than measuring your exercise program with sweat, miles, and hours, you should measure the results by looking in the mirror. Your goal should be a comely shape and strength, not the gaunt and frail look that comes from overly stressing the body with hours of aerobics.
Seek the look of the sprinter who loads the body to its max for a short time and then rests to recover and build muscle, not the skeletal look of the marathoner who has exhausted all body reserves.
Now it may seem narcissistic to focus on looks, but health is a lot about looks. Healthy people look trim, but also well shaped. How you look outside is a mirror of how you look inside. Body building tends to make you body conscious as you seek muscle growth. Even some soreness once in a while is good in that it makes you aware of the muscle group you targeted in your last workout. If you spend more time in front of the mirror, even flexing here and there, good. You need to be thinking of your body; if you don’t take good care of it where else will you live?
None of this will work, however, if you do not eat right too. Get off the carbohydrates (starches and sugars) and emphasize protein, healthy fats, and raw as much as possible. Intelligently designed supplements are very important as well. For a more thorough discussion, see Living Life As If Thinking Matters.
Thinking Word — narcissistic - \nar·cis·sism\ Click for pronunciation -noun: Excessive love or admiration of oneself. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.