Monday, May 16, 2011
We Know When We Are Hungry, Thirsty and Tired But Not When We Need Exercise.
Nature has built in so many receptors in our body that we are almost faultless and self correcting. It is very difficult for anyone to simply die from hunger, thirst or lack of sleep.
Even self injury is very difficult because we have so many nerves to feel pain that it is very difficult to kill ourselves by injury unless we use some modern technology such as a firearm or a sharp instrument which we fall on. In order to kill oneself with bare hands one needs to withstand a lot of pain and most will stop the pain before death.
When we are dehydrated we get the message that we need a drink. When we are very hungry we get the message that we need food. When very tired we almost spontaneously fall asleep. Try to stay awake for several days and then remain awake in any position. It will be very difficult to stay awake, even in a standing or sitting position and during daylight.
Most people obey these built-in receptors and will get food when hungry, get a drink when thirsty and sleep when tired. The one receptor that is lacking is the exercise receptor.
How do we know when it is time to exercise? We have no lack of exercise receptors on our body. In fact some people are sedentary for years and years and even decades and there is no warning built into their body that it is long past time to exercise.
The evidence might show up in other ways such as obesity, lack of enjoyment of life, chronic and acute health problems, bones and muscles that are frail, inability to think clearly, and many other general problems.
These however are not always indicators of lack of exercise and can be confused with symptoms of other underlying problems.
Probably the reason why we have no lack of exercise indicator is because the lack of exercise is not an imminent threat to our life. I have never heard of someone dying from a sudden lack of exercise but there are many cases of people dying of dehydration, starvation and occasionally a lack of sleep.
There are certainly people who have died from a long term lack of exercise. These people might be on a very reasonable diet, sleep enough, drink enough and get the other essentials such as clean air, sunshine, positive thinking and relationships, etc. but they just live a totally sedentary life and their body just can not continue to survive without any exercise.
There are artcles online that go further into details on this cause of death. Usually the actual cause is listed as something other than lack of exercise but people can and in fact do die from a lack of exercise.
Since we do not seem to have any exercise receptors I suggest that everyone start a regular exercise program which they enjoy and can continue indefinitely. Jump around for 15 minutes every morning and evening. Ride a bicycle to school or work. Get new running shoes and run. Work in the garden. If it is winter then skate, ski or just shovel the snow.