Monday, January 26, 2015

The Basic Three Of Good Health



Song:  Arwen's Vigil

Artists:  The Piano Guys




This is how people should feel inside with a healthful diet...
a large enough quantity of quality exercise...
and a plentiful amount of deep restorative sleep.

The energy one feels should be boundless.

You should feel on the verge of bursting out in song or a loud roar
(I frequently do)...

of wanting to just run up a mountain side
(I have)...

or of just moon walking down the road
(someday I think I shall...
although I still can't get the hang of moon walking  :)


Especially after a really good workout...
that boundless energy is more focused...
and a deep feeling of serenity pervades the mind and body.


As health is a cornerstone of happiness...
it really is a prerequisite for living life to the fullest.

Also...
as everything in life takes energy...
the more of it one has...
the more one may accomplish.

Although one may have a dream to pursue...
having a higher amount of energy allows 
for a higher and more sustainable rate of striving for the objectives.


I cannot stress this too much...
as each of us has our intellectual, emotional, and physical components...
and as they all interrelate and reinforce each other...
to ignore any one component is to hamper the other two
(a lack of intellectual or emotional stimulation affects motivation to exercise...
the basic three of the physical greatly increases all).

Of these three...
the physical is the most basic.

It most heavily influences the other two.

The positive stimulation of the physical...
sets the stage for the raised tolerance of pain...
and for the heightened sense of pleasure received.

It greatly affects hormonal balance and output.

More than anything else...
it is hormonal output which affects heart, mind, and body.


DIET


Before one can discuss exercise...
one must first have a healthful diet.

One's food must be both, nutritious...and delicious.

While the nutritious part makes sense to most...why must it be delicious?

By delicious...
I mean greatly stimulating...
something which is greatly savored
and long remembered after the meal had been eaten.


The body is regulated in all aspects...
by a feedback loop.

The most immediate feedback loop concerning food intake...
is the loop of taste and smell to that of the appetite center of the brain.

When food is generally bland...
although it may fulfill other feedback loops...
the positive stimulation of taste and smell hadn't been stimulated enough...
and so, a person is still 'mouth hungry' and tends to over eat in order to sate himself.

I have had improperly seasoned meats...
which I had to eat a full pound of in order to feel full...
as my stomach had told me it had been sated...
but not my mouth.

In contrast...
I have had absolutely delicious meats which had been well seasoned...
and I felt fully satisfied with less than half that amount.

Also...
at least with me
(and I would think with others also)...
I look forward to eating meals so much...
I want to ensure I have a ravenous hunger for it
when I sit down to eat.

I usually eat only twice a day (no snacking)...
and sometimes...
just once a day when I am not particularly active
(although I do relish the occasional snack when watching dramas).

One of the pleasures of life is the build up of a longing...
and the subsequent release of the built up tension.

Life is not about not feeling desire or tension...
it is about the artful buildup and the controlled release of it.

It is the difference between grazing all day like an herbivore...
the meal merely being masticated...a chore to be endured...
and that of the feast and famine cycle of a carnivore...
whose appetite is built up to monumental proportions in the wild
because of the difficulty in successfully hunting its prey...
but when feasting...it is done with great gusto and satisfaction.

One cannot have the feeling of a tiger tearing into its meal...
unless one has built up his hunger.

Each of our meals should be so desired...
that when we sit down to it...
it has our full attention.

Our salivary glands should be in overdrive...
our eyes focused on the food...
our nose and palate on high alert...
 each sending wild and crazy signals to the stomach
alerting it to the deliciousness headed its way.

Each rushed bite should be felt all the way to the stomach...
and then a great feeling of satisfaction should radiate from there 
for many hours afterwards.

When one lives in this manner...
 the one or two meals of the day take on meaning...
one doesn't graze as does a cow (snack all day)...
one becomes a tiger who devours his meal...
as a tiger should.


First of all...
do not believe the nonsense of our ancient ancestors being grazers.

For them...
it had always been a cycle of feast and famine.

Even when we had become an agrarian society...
there was always much physical work to be done...
and not enough time to simply snack all day long.

Only when we had become sedentary did obesity and diabetes 
become endemic in, otherwise...advanced civilizations.

Insulin resistance (a major cause of diabetes...but not the sole cause)
became a problem in advanced societies due to a sedentary lifestyle...
and constant grazing (snacking and consuming sugary drinks).

The muscles were not depleting the liver's stores of converted sugars...
and so, with the influx of new glucose being constantly fed 
by all day snacking and the high sugar drinks being consumed...
and with nowhere to go...it is stored as fat.  
But this is not the major problem.

The body's response to sugars being in the blood, is to distribute insulin.
The insulin allows the glucose to be transported into the cells for use...
this is normal.

When insulin must be distributed in the blood in abnormally higher amounts
to counter an abnormally high amount of sugars in a short amount of time...
and in abnormally frequent numbers of times throughout the day...
the muscles become resistant to insulin.

More insulin is produced...
as the muscles need more to accomplish what lower amounts used to do.

It gets to be too much for the pancreas to handle...
and blood sugar levels build beyond the capability of the body to counter.

Synthesized insulin then becomes necessary.

---------------

Okay...
now comes to the part that is my speculation...
only because it sounds reasonable.

To my recollection...
the following is not an established scientific truth...
and many medical specialists believe that one should graze.


I have only formally studied physiology twice in my life:

Anatomy and Physiology (High School)

Sports Physiology (University)

I am no expert...
I am just putting forth a rational argument hoping to support
eating 1 - 2 times a day...
and exercising at night and eating nothing until the next morning.

Again...
this has worked for me for decades.
 I feel most alive by eating and exercising in this manner.

I don't know if any of my thoughts are supported by actual research
(I've only experimented on myself).

However...
if the below reasoning is sound...
to constantly graze would defy reason.

----

Another problem of constant grazing throughout the day...
is that the liver stores the fuel of the body in a concentrated
concoction (glycogen) which is quickly and easily converted to glucose.

If one always keeps the liver stores of glycogen full by constantly grazing...
when one eats larger meals...
the liver must either release much of its stores to make room for more...
or it must directly convert the, then, large feeding into glucose 
and release it directly into the bloodstream...
resulting in an abnormally high level of glucose in the blood 
as there is no reservoir to buffer the sudden influx in a more controlled manner.

This is why it stands to reason that when the liver's stores are lowered
through not grazing...it has adequate storage space to handle the 
infrequent meals without releasing excess glucose into the blood...
which then must be countered by abnormally high amounts of insulin.


This is why it stands to reason that eating just one or two meals a day 
is not only psychologically healthier...
but physically healthier.

The liver's store of glycogen is generally depleted
(depending on metabolism...which is sped up through exercise)...
in 6 - 12 hours.


Most certainly...
 fasting, or semi fasting, forces the body 
to convert much of its fat stores into fuel to refill
the body's first reservoir for energy release...the liver's store of glycogen.

Fasting, or semi fasting (eating once or twice a day without snacking)...
depletes the liver's store of glycogen so it has room to store subsequent meals
as glycogen instead of as fat in the body.

When combined with heavy exercise...
the body breaks down fat to refill the liver's stores of glycogen...
as well as the muscle's stores of glycogen.

Result...
a decrease in the body's fat stores.

This is why I think it is crucial to heavily exercise just before bed...
with no influx of calories after the exercise (just water)...
at least until the next morning.

With no new food to fuel up the liver...
and with the muscles screaming out to also be refueled...
its only source is the body's fat stores.

You will wake up with less fat in your body...
as you are burning fat in the most efficient manner...
as the sole source of energy...as the body must burn it.


Now...
I am not proposing that highly active adults...
or children...especially teens...
not eat more often than once or twice a day...
so long as they are active enough to deplete 
the liver's store of glycogen so the reservoir may
buffer each subsequent meal

(I had once calculated my total daily caloric intake as part of
an Anatomy and Physiology class in high school.
I was consuming in excess of 10,000 calories a day...
and I still could not gain weight.
I was exercising so heavily...
especially at night...
that my body could not accumulate excess stores of fat).


When young people start to get much in the way of fat storage...
the way to control this is through an increase in exercise...
and the cutting out of all snacks.

In all cases though...
they should never drink sugary drinks on a frequent basis...
just as an occasionally given treat...
perhaps once a week at the most.


-------------



EXERCISE



The quantity and quality of exercise has a great effect on the rest
of the basic three.

With heavy exercise...
many of the deleterious effects of over eating are negated...
as excess calories are used to fuel the greatly increased metabolic rate 
long after the exercise has stopped.


Heavy exercise also greatly improves the quality of sleep...
as well as the energy level and mental outlook of a person.


There are two basic ends of the exercise spectrum.

On one end
lies the heavy resistance exercise portion (singles weight training).

Main principle:  

20 - 30 sets of 1 repetition with 30 seconds to 5 minutes of rest between reps...
starting at 80% of max...adding 5% every 6 weeks or so...
through manipulation of the sets.

Example:  week one - 20 sets...add two sets each week until 30 is reached...
add 5% weight...start at 20 sets once again.



On the other end of the spectrum
lies the aerobic light resistance endurance exercises (such as running or walking).

Main principle:

30 min - 90 min as controlled by intensity (rate or resistance)

Intensity - to the point of nausea...back off until no nausea...
continue for duration.


All others are somewhere in between.


For long term health...
you should have a mixture of both.

As I have detailed resistance exercise in many previous articles...
I won't go into it much here.


The main factor where exercise will have the greatest effect on the body...
other than the type done...is when it is done.

I cannot overemphasize the greatly restorative effects of exercise
when it is done at night (just before bed).

As detailed in the diet section...
besides the effects of depleting excess liver glycogen stores...
and the muscles being allowed to fully recover during sleep...
it also depletes psychological stress...
which sets the person on a glorious cycle of:


Energy / Growth Repletion and Excess Energy Depletion through Muscular Stimulation


What drives this cycle is the adequate stimulation of the largest muscles of the body...
which, when given adequate rest...results in adaptation to a higher level
(Supercompensation).

When done at night without any caloric intake afterwards 
(but with adequate hydration with water)...
a hot shower...
and then long blissful sleep...
you will be refueling muscle from the liver's glycogen stores...
and if you had exercised enough...
the rest of the fuel will come from fat in the body.


Another great benefit which comes from exercising at night...
it sets one up for deep restorative sleep.



DEEP RESTORATIVE SLEEP



It is simply not enough to get an adequate number of hours of sleep...
unless it is of high quality sleep.


There are many who feel tired even after 10 hours of sleep...
because it is restless sleep.


You don't feel rested...
and so, even from the beginning of the day...
you are running a deficit of energy stores.

You are less able to handle the stresses of the day...
you accumulate stress...and feel even more tired...
many will caffeinate to keep going.

Excess stress and stimulants without adequate depletion...
robs you of adequate restorative sleep.

This is a negative cycle.

This is where heavy exercise at night comes into play.

You drain away any excess stress and energy.

You will not only reset your energy levels...
through supercompensation...
you will have even more energy upon waking...
which will allow you to handle more stress...
which you will then convert to energy to fuel your night exercise...
allowing you to exercise more intensely.

This is setting yourself up to live in a positive cycle.


The basic three which sets the stage for deep restorative sleep is
(after a heavy exercise session and a hot shower...
and with adequate water intake...but no caloric intake)...


Dark

Cool

Quiet




DARK


Why is having the room dark so important?

Our main regulator of sleep is our production 
of a hormone produced in the brain called...
Melatonin.

Melatonin is regulated by the light received from the eyes.

So humans don't feel sleepy in the day...
it stops production when there is much perceived light.

So we may feel sleepy at night...
much is produced in the absence of perceived light.

So...
if the room where you sleep is lit in some manner...
you produce far less melatonin...
which makes you not go to the deeper levels of sleep
where true restorative sleep takes place.

So...
if one wishes to get extra sleep by sleeping in...
be sure you have at the very least...
blackout curtains.




COOL



If you ever experience a build up of perspiration upon waking...
you were attempting to sleep too warm.

Humans operate best in cool temperatures
(as supported by medical research).


However...
do not make it so cold that heavy blankets must be used.

A nice down comforter which is both, light and warm, is best.

You want to reduce any stimuli from your time of sleep.

With weight on you as you sleep...
it not only is perceived by the body as constant stimulation...
it inhibits the natural movements of the body as you sleep.

If you have a heavy set of blankets on you...
every time your body changes positions...
your sleep is disturbed...
and your level of sleep is raised above the threshold of deep sleep.




QUIET



This goes almost without saying.

ANY stimuli during sleep...
will keep you from deep restorative sleep.

However...
the steady light droning of a window air conditioner
produces sleep inducing white noise...
besides ensuring a cool environment

(which, so long as it is constant and consistent...
the brain cancels out...while the level of white noise
drowns out small inconsistent environmental noises).




So...
how do you know if your are achieving enough deep restorative sleep?


Simple...
if upon waking...
you are anything but fully refreshed...
you hadn't slept well.


Upon waking...
your muscles should feel full and energized...
there should be a smile on your face...
and a hunger to face the day.


How do I know this?


For decades...
I had worked nights.

I slept during the day...
however, in my 'room'...
it was if I were in a dark, cool, and quiet cave.


How did I achieve this while living in the suburbs?


I had constructed a sleeping chamber in the garage.

I had built a double walled air conditioned structure
specifically designed to ensure my sleep was...


Dark 
(absolutely...I even taped over the air conditioner indicator lights)


Cool 
(66 degrees F / 18.8 degrees C)


Quiet
(the double walls of the sleeping chamber was in an insulated garage...
and the white noise of the constantly running air conditioner
coupled with the sound deadening walls...
made it conducive to achieving deep restorative sleep).



Combine these with heavy exercise and a hot shower before bed...
you will achieve sleep nirvana.

You will have experienced a deep dreamless restorative sleep...
and upon waking...
you will feel as a Greek god who had awakened on a cloud...
and ready to hurl lightning bolts.


One more very important deep sleep inducing areas frequently ignored...
the mattress.

You should have a very comfortable mattress...
and it should be rotated or flipped twice a year at least.

I have a double pillow top mattress.

In order to ensure the mattress keeps its shape...
you must spread out its wear over its four locations for sleeping.

With a rotation of the mattress...
you are sleeping on the other position of the same side.

With each flip...
you are on the other side...
and the next time you may rotate.

If ever you see or feel a dip in the mattress...
you need a new one.


So there you have it.

Don't complain to anyone about not feeling energetic...
about feeling depressed...
about feeling tired...

until you ensure all of your bases 
of the Basic Three are fully covered.


Also...
if you still are not feeling well after ensuring 
the basic three are being lived by...
you will be able to express your lifestyle to a doctor...
whereupon he may rule out lifestyle as a causative factor...
and immediately set upon a course of inquiry or action without first
having you spend many months on lifestyle changes.


Take care to ensure you get the basic three...
and the basic three will ensure a solid base of health...
upon which you may then live life to the fullest.









No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment on this article.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...