In the Sage Vita philosophy, the term “vitality” means, “a vital force present in all living things”. A sound body is the womb for that vital force. You need a sound body to be vital and to enjoy life to the fullest. Certain of our attitudes and activities can result in a sound body or an unsound body. What attitudes and activities can enable us to develop and maintain a sound body for our “vital force”? Well, a necessary attitude is, “I am a sound body for my vital force.”
A necessary activity is intense daily physical exercise. “Daily”, because our bodies are constantly, every second, minute and hour, in the process of decaying. The decaying must be deterred relentlessly or decay will occur at a rapid rate and accelerate as we get older. “Daily”, because only by regular deterrence can we create and maintain the habit of deterring decay. We are our habits…in attitudes and activities.
“Intense”, because we need to exert our bodies beyond the aerobic state to the anaerobic state, the point at which cells are killed due to the lack of oxygen (definition of anaerobic is “no oxygen”). Our organism is designed for survival. The anaerobic state stimulates the production and flow of natural growth hormones that rebuild cells and strengthen our ability to survive.
To get into the anaerobic state and benefit fully from physical exercise, we must exert our muscles to the state of failure and damage so that they experience what is called, “adaptive micro-trauma.” When our bodies detect trauma at the micro-level, they respond by going into an intense repair and rebuild mode. Growth hormones are produced and surge throughout the body. New tissues are grown. The metabolism rate increases requiring more and more calories to maintain larger and denser muscles and tissues, consuming fat in this process.
So, how do we get into the anaerobic state on a daily basis without killing ourselves no matter where we are? One way is to practice an exercise regimen I learned from Admiral William A. “Bill” Owens (born in 1940), a Vice Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Clinton Administration, and a successful business executive who continues to lead an engaged and active life. Bill participated in a survey done by the US Army to assess different exercise regimens for people of middle age and beyond and found one that is really effective. It’s simple. It doesn’t take much time. It does require intense exercise twice a day – but only for about eight minutes each time.
What I learnt from Admiral Bill Owens
In the morning, start by doing all the push-ups you can do, I mean all. Use good form and go until you have to stop. Breathe as often as you need. Next, do as many sit-ups as you can until you can do no more. Use good form and keep going until you can do no more. Counting is fun, as you will be able to do more and more over time. But, don’t let yourself stop because you get to a certain number. Keep going until you can do no more. Then, stand up in an “at attention” posture with feet shoulder width apart and pull your shoulders back and imagine that your goal is to get your shoulder blades to touch, which they cannot. Hold this posture for two minutes and keep breathing.
You have just spent about eight minutes of which probably about five are in the anaerobic state. Your body is producing and pumping growth hormones throughout you entire body, repairing and rebuilding whatever tissues are in need. Your metabolism rate is increasing. You are not done yet. Repeat these exercises again during mid-afternoon” a total of about sixteen minutes of intense exercise every day.
Stick to it for one week and you will have developed an invaluable new habit, which will greatly enhance your vitality.