Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fighting Spirit: An Indicator Of True Drive



Song:  Rock Meets Rachmanioff

Group:  The Piano Guys

(I will often incorporate this song, not only because I love it so much...
but because it matches how I feel as I speak in this article...
 as it matches the fighting spirit of my son, Alex).



Alex studying for an upcoming exam while suffering through 
a headache, a slight fever, lethargy, and congestion.

Even though his mother had told him to just stay in bed and relax today...
Alex decided to study, as the upcoming exam is an important one.

As he wasn't feeling well...
he only studied for 6 hours today...
but as he could have just relaxed in bed...
instead, his natural fighting spirit, as a result of his drive to achieve...
simply wouldn't allow him to give in to his discomfort

(As his mother loves to cuddle with Alex as they watch
some of his favorite educational shows...
she is also ill...
and so, has been in bed all day).


As Alex is self motivated and self driven
(especially considering this is a Saturday)...
he insists on studying even when ill...
unless he is bedridden due to extreme illness.

(If he has an especially high fever, extreme symptoms of any sort...
 is vomiting or has loose bowels...
we ensure he stays in bed...and we closely monitor his temperature...
fluid intake, color of fluid output...as well as his other objective symptoms).


When someone has a dream...
he pursues it relentlessly.

His heart drives him forward...
regardless of the sacrifices on the path to the achievement his dreams.

After Alex's studies...
and as he still had a moderate appetite...
we went out to our favorite Korean restaurant.


We started out with a Korean Pancake for an appetizer.


Alex then had Katsu Chicken.


I had Kalbi.

After we returned home...
Alex took a hot shower...
and I had given him one dose of Thera-Flu
so it would take away his headache and congestion...
so he could get a good nights sleep

(actually, I also took a dose, as I also do not feel so well...
except I also have body aches).

As he has a blacked out bedroom window...
he may just sleep in until he naturally awakens.


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


Notice my title...

Fighting Spirit:  An Indicator Of True Drive


The word I had made in bold font is key to understanding
how to best engender 'fighting spirit'.


When a child has a true dream to fulfill...
he will naturally be fully engaged in its achievement.

So...
while a child may be told to keep striving...
it will take constant effort on his part to keep up his pace.

In the end...
anything which takes energy...
eventually runs out.

The far superior way to teach a child to strive for his dreams
is to give him a truly magnificent dream to pursue.

This will give him an inner drive...
one which doesn't take energy to pursue.

A true dream gives a person more energy...
the more he pursues it.

This is why those with a true dream seem to have 
endless amounts of energy in the pursuit of their dreams...
and why they practice so often...
even to the exclusion of what others may see as 'fun'.

For a child with a true dream to pursue...
mere 'fun' is a momentary distraction to experience on occasions.

He knows the deep and everlasting satisfaction of chasing a true dream...
one that only increases in depth and satisfaction the further he travels.



Give your child a magnificent dream to pursue...
it then becomes a simple matter of reverse planning from his dream...
back to him.

By establishing the route to his dream...
he will revel in accomplishing all of the objectives...
as each shall take him closer to his goal.

Remember...
the goal is not doing well in a particular test...
or even in school...
these are merely objectives toward the completion of his goal.

His intermediate goal should not only be the achievement of his dream profession...
he should strive to be a world renown expert in the field...
one who, because he thoroughly understands his subject...
may, one day, teach others directly and/or indirectly through his writings.

All else are stepping stones toward that goal.


In short...

Dream the magnificent dream...
you will then have the energy of the mythological Greek gods to pursue it.

This is truly living.












Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Value Of Rational Argumentation



Song:  Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Artist:  Elton John





Argumentation does not necessarily mean with emotional content.

To have...
a valid premise...
the presented supporting evidence in a logical format...
 the conclusion directly derived from that logic...
 is to put forth a rational argument.

It is objective
(it is not a matter of opinion...of which is merely an unsupported posit)

It has nothing to do with motives.

It is to establish a framework upon which truth may be found.

With truth...
problems may be identified and rectified...
and true progress may then be made.

Some say that life is not fair.

Through rational argumentation...
true fairness may be effected in an unfair world.


No one can rightly argue against
the proper identification and prioritization of problems
so they may then be solved in an effective and efficient manner
through objective reasoning.

Some may try to say that feelings matter.

Yes...
but that is not the issue.

Feelings are merely one of the variables to consider and prioritize in a rational manner
so the underlying problems may be corrected...
while maximizing the positive effect on emotions...
or by limiting the negative impact on the emotions...
however, the priority must be the correction of the problem.

It is not an excuse to not correct the problems at all because of the emotional impact.

To not correct problems which would perpetuate 
and become exacerbated without correction because feelings take priority...
is simply not rational because as the problem grows...
so does the eventual negative emotional impact.


Humans are very malleable and adaptable.

Truth in the discovery of the paths to take...
and the necessary corrective actions which then must be followed...
must not be...
if problems are to be solved
(although in its application...they may be...
so long as the same result is effected).


Being logical in problem solving does not mean being devoid of emotion.

It means to take all of the necessary variables
and to consider them in their correct order of priority...
including the impact on emotions...
and to render the most plausible path toward the rectification of a problem.


How is one to decide which solution is best
 without first having a frame of reference?


Ah...
with but two very simple guiding principles:



1)   Prioritization of the progress of the whole for the long term
while having the least negative impact on each individual's freedom.

Just think of individuals being at the center of ever expanding concentric rings...
each of which contain ever larger groups of consideration...
with the largest rings having the highest priority of consideration
(from individuals to all of human kind).



The group...
or as depicted, the ring to stop at...
is decided by the expected area of effect
of the policy upon them.

Each ring (group) can then be considered a living entity...
and so...
assuming the needs and desires of an individual...
as depicted below in the pyramid...
and as prioritized from the bottom up.


A depiction of Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs



2)   The individual's rights for the lowest two levels of the pyramid are absolute
(All else is earned).

Principle one does not override principle two.

The individual's right for survival is the same as the group's.

This is why it is of the highest honor for individual sacrifice for the group...
and not an expectation...with which, there would be no honor possible.

I simply cannot explain the need for rational argumentation in any simpler terms.



Rational argumentation is the science of problem identification and rectification.

It is the most efficient and effective means of problem solving
when considering human nature as a variable.

It applies to the individual as well as to groups.



Okay...
easily said...
now on to an example of application.


I will take a classic example of a group vs individual rights conundrum:


LIFEBOAT



Situation:  


10 people in a lifeboat on the high seas.

No food...very little water...
no immediate hope for rescue or for obtaining more food.



Majority consensus: 

 All will die unless individuals are sacrificed
for sustenance for the group as needed.


Method:

Lottery system



What to do?


First of all...
this situation has come about on numerous occasions throughout history.

International rules of the high seas allow for such forced sacrifices to take place...
so long as a fair lotto system is used.


However...
is it actually the correct path?


NO


My reasoning:

First of all...
the rights to survival of the group do not overshadow those of the individual's.

Each individual in a group has the same rights to survive as does the group
(second principle).


Am I saying that all should die then?


NO


First of all...
such an argument put forth by the lifeboat group is a false dilemma.


We each have differing rates of metabolism...
and differing stores of energy reserves.


So...
it actually is not a question of everyone dying at once
unless individuals are sacrificed to spare all...
is it?


The cannibalization of the ones who naturally pass away first would 
accomplish the same result without the need of forced sacrifice.


So...
in reality...
is this what I think would take place in a real situation?


NO


The need for survival breaks down civility.

Most morals break down when people are threatened.


Okay...
what is it that I think would happen...
and what is it that I would do?



I think that precisely what has happened in the past would still happen.

A lotto system


What is it I would do differently...
especially with the knowledge that any who 
fail to participate in the lotto system is the first
one to be picked by the others for their next feast?


I would kill the loudest instigator for the establishment of a lotto system...
and then simply look at the group and quietly say...
bon appetit!  

(as the group had made it clear that I would be killed...
killing in defense of the self is justified)

I would then reiterate how we should only partake of those 
who pass naturally from that point forward.

(I of course, would then have to also partake...
for should I then not...they would become strong...
and I would then be next on the menu).


Not only would this satisfy the immediate wants of the group...
it would prevent them from trying the lotto again in the future...
as they would then have to suffer personal responsibility for their decisions.


Of course...
you must be thinking...
 my plan only works if I could, in fact, win in combat.

Part of the Darwinian equation is not only physical...
it is intellectual.

Securing the means for self defense is natural to some...but not to all.

With forethought comes a greatly increased chance of survival.


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


This brings up a side thought as applied to families.

As a Father...
one of our basic responsibilities is that of the safety and security of the family unit.

We must always be monitoring our surroundings.

Anytime we are in public...
especially when in a group of unknown people in a structure...
we must know the escape points and routes...
we must constantly scan our surroundings for interruptions in patterns of people
which would indicate possible aggression or instability...
and we must always be aware of possible objects in the vicinity for use as a weapon...
in case of need to protect the family.

The father's duty is to confront possible danger...
if not to defeat it...then to lead it away from the family so they may escape.

Should the father be forced to engage...
should he not be able to defeat the danger...
he must at least delay them long enough so the family may escape.


The mother's duty is to lead the children to safety.

Her job is to not delay her flight with her children
through a challenging set of inquires of the father's actions...
and especially to not exacerbate the situation through provocatory statements.


-----------


Sorry for the break in thought...
I thought it necessary.

-----------


Now...
I will take a classic example of an individual vs a group conundrum.


This situation I will illustrate with a commonly used tactic
by communities against the individual property owner 
using the lawful use of Eminent Domain.

Now I highlighted the term 'lawful use'
only because of the frequency of governmental abuse of Eminent Domain.

Through Eminent Domain...
communities may force a private landowner to sell his property to the community
if the community may show a dire need for the property...
for the good of the community in a public works project...
and for a fair market price.


This follows the first principle in that the group has the higher priority of need...
and does not violate the second principle as it does not threaten the 
safety or security of the individual.


Eminent Domain is necessary because of unforeseen needs
for public works projects, which without, would allow
an individual to make the group suffer in the area of safety or security...
or to stall the great progress of the group
(a governmental project designed for public use...
thereby providing necessary services for all in the group...
such as in a water treatment plant...
or for a necessary highway...etc).


So, I agree with the notion of Eminent Domain?


Yes...
but only as narrowly applied in the above definition...
and I think the community should have to pay twice the market price
(good end result taking into account human emotions...
while at the same time forcing communities to only attempt
using Eminent Domain in cases of dire need).


Where it becomes wrong is when the proposed project is not a public works project...
and when it doesn't provide for the safety and security of the public...
or a project which would lead to great progress for the group.


Many years ago...
I was actually a juror in a civil case involving Eminent Domain.

However...
in this case, it was the abuse of Eminent Domain...
and the plaintiff was a private property owner.

The case never got to trial...
only because the judge had allowed the jurors
to be polled by the defense (county attorneys).

We had not only demonstrated our understanding of Eminent Domain...
but our understanding of its illegal attempted usage by the county.

After seeing the results...
the county had settled the suit out of court with the plaintiff
(not only could the county not apply Eminent Domain...
and therefore force the property owner to sell...
they had to pay the owner for illegally trying).

The main problem was that the county had tried to seize the property
for the use of a private company so they could then have more tax revenue.

They had violated the law...
as this was not a public works project...
thereby serving the group's needs.



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

So...
what is the ultimate value of rational argumentation?

Its value lies in the result of serving the individual as well as the group...
as applied using the two stated simple principles.

Through the adherence of the two principles...
the greatest progress of humans may be achieved...
precisely because it is in alignment with human nature.

Through its use...
the hearts and minds of all people will be united...
as they may then trust in the group...and so...
become a willing participant as a team member with the knowledge
that their shared resources would be pooled and utilized efficiently and effectively...
while their individual rights to their safety and security would not be breached.

This allows for the free investment of individual resources toward
higher objectives as achieved as a group...
much higher than can be accomplished by any one individual.


How is it then that people do not always consider these principles
when attempting to establish rules for groups...or even free nations?


For whatever reason...
many do not prioritize critical thinking
(as applied to the voting populace...
many politicians know exactly what they are doing...
and use nefarious means to secure power for their group or themselves).

While many understand, and can follow a basic line of logical thinking...
they do not understand the structure of rational argumentation.


There are but three basic components of a rational argument:


The premise

The logical body with the supporting evidence for the premise

The conclusion which is directly derived from the said logical argument



If any one of the three are incorrect...
supposing that the others are correct...
the result must be incorrect.

As most follow a basic logical thought process...
the most often used method of deceit
is the slipping in of a false premise.

Once that false premise is accepted...
a person may logically argue their point successfully...
and reach a logical conclusion...
and still be wrong
(and so the difference between a valid argument...
and that of a sound argument).

This is most often illustrated in the classic example of an argument
being valid (in structure and application were the premise correct)...
but unsound (in fact because of the false premise)
through the introduction of a false premise:

All trees are green
 (false premise)

That is a tree 
(logical argument as can be supported logically and empirically)

Therefore...that tree must be green
(erroneous conclusion based on a false premise)



The second most used tactic is through the usage 
of one or more of a variety of fallacies of logic
to imply an incorrect premise as being correct.


Just a few of the many variants used
with this tactic as applied to the above argument:


1)  We have the world renowned expert on trees saying that in fact...
all trees are green
(Fallacy of an Appeal to Authority)


2)  We took a poll of a cross section of all of America...
and the people have spoken...
all trees are green
(Fallacy of an Appeal to the Masses)


3)  You just don't want to admit that all trees are green
because a woman was the discoverer of this truth
(Fallacy of a Personal Attack)


An especially insidious use of a fallacy is through the incorrect usage of science
and then attempting to establish that as science had deemed it so...
it must be so.

Many do not understand how if the safeguards of the scientific method are not applied...
how easily at which erroneous conclusions may be arrived.

This method is very often used...
especially where statistical analysis is concerned.

Whether it be by the corrupt analyst through the cherry picking of his data

(using only the stats which support his hypothesis
 while disregarding evidence which refute his hypothesis...
just one of many which a corrupt researcher may use)...

or by that of a politician who purposely misapplies scientific research
which is designed to determine probabilities of an unknown being likely...
and not necessarily to determine scientific truth...
and so to take it out of context...
especially when it comes to the extrapolation of a known...
and to then apply it to the whole of an unknown...
especially without the statistical safeguards in effect
which would prohibit such usage in that context...
and then claiming the research as being valid 
as it is to be considered under the authority of science...
and how it is therefore, inviolate...

the establishment of a false premise is the key to a false argument.


As a result of the depth of the smoke and mirrors commonly used
in support of a false argument...
many are easily led astray.


How can a person learn to structure his thoughts 
so they may apply logic to a rational argument...
and thereby are able to solve the correct problems
in their correct order of priority...
as well as to prevent others from presenting false arguments?


Just as everything in life should be observed in its simplest form...
think of a rational argument as a three pillared structure.

If any one of the three pillars aren't solid...
the whole structure collapses.


How may one achieve this solid structure...
and how may one bring down the house of cards
that are false arguments?

Just by knowing the structure of a rational argument...
one may build one.

By knowing the various fallacies of logic...
 combined with the basic knowledge of the scientific method...
and that of Statistics...
one may disarticulate false arguments
because you may see through the smoke screen and break the mirrors
that those with an agenda, other than that of truth and progress...
so often tries to lay in order to manipulate others for their own personal gain.



One extremely important point...
the whole idea is to achieve that which is correct...
so that of truth and progress is the result...
not for the aggrandizement of the self.


To achieve this result...
simply think of a rational argument as a fencing match.

Just as a rational argument should be...
the objective in a fencing match is to determine the rightful winner...
by merit.


Just as a fencer must acknowledge a true mortal strike
(Olympic fencing is guided by electronic strike detectors)...
so must an honorable practitioner of rational argumentation
acknowledge when his argument had been struck a mortal blow.


Emotions do not matter.
Merely wanting to win is the wrong attitude.

It is the establishment of a correct route of progression through truth...
for the betterment of the group or the individual...
that matters.

By acknowledging your faulty reasoning...
you are acknowledging the validity of the process
of a rational argument.

By acknowledging and identifying where you had gone astray...
you will still have garnered the trust of others...
as they will have seen that, although you had made an error in judgement
(of which we are all subject to)...
your intent was the pursuit of truth and justice...
and for the noble cause of the betterment of all.

By first thinking things through in a rational manner...
by considering all of the necessary variables
which will then point to a rational premise...
and by then coming to a rational conclusion as supported through
well thought out evidence and as presented in a logical fashion...
you will have gained foreknowledge of a truth.

With the foreknowledge of being correct...
of being on the side of truth...
you will be more easily able to parry false premises...
and should then be able to strike a mortal blow upon your opponent.

Winning a rational argument by arguing from the side of truth...
is far easier than is trying to argue from the side of deceit.

So...
it is through the siding of truth that is not only the honorable way to argue...
a way which points toward justice and progress for the group and the individual...
it is the most efficient and effective way.












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.









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