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Move Like Tarzan

December 22, 2009

The healthiest people on the planet exercise like Tarzan.  Tarzan swims, wrestles, jumps, crawls, and swings on vines.  He is strong and explosive, and you never know what he’s going to do next.  This is why he never gets hurt, and how he stays healthy.  Your body needs to be shocked and confused on a regular basis to become resilient.  However, as soon as your  body figures out how to adapt, then you go on autopilot (sitting on your arse or doing the same thing over and over!), and this is where overuse, breakdown and fatigue injuries happen.

Let’s take runners as an example.  Runners are just like assembly line workers who become good at just one thing and repeat the same activity until overuse breaks down the machinery.  There is a very good reason that running is the sport that boasts the highest rates of injury worldwide.  The best distance runners, though, are the ones who implement other activities into their exercise routines.  They sprint on occasion until their lungs burn, they lift weights to awaken ancillary muscles to suddenly leap into action, or they randomly choose to go for a five mile hike.  They train as if they never knew how fast they would have to sprint after a rabbit, or how much firewood they would have to haul home, or how challenging the climb home would be during a winter storm.  They train as if their survival depended on it,  as it once did.  And in a way, it still does.

Don’t ever think for a second that your body doesn’t expect exercise and exertion on a regular basis for you to be healthy,  because it does.  Trust me, if the benefits from exercise came in a pill form it would be an instant super blockbuster and everyone would be popping them like candy.  Simply going for a run is just like taking some uppers, steroids, fat burners, viagra, cholesterol lowering meds, and many others – except no side effects other than better health.  What a great deal!

So what are you waiting for?  More time?  Decisions are made in seconds.  We live our lives in matters of minutes.  It only takes a minute to make a change that will impact your life.  You can do a powerful Tabata workout in 4 minutes and still have time to text message your buddy and facebook your co-worker.  You have time to do four 100 meter sprints today.  Run that poor dog scratching at your leg that understands his genetic need to run.  As Morgan Freeman said in one of my all-time favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption:  “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Go get some.

Dr. Ryan Hewitt

If you’re out of ideas of how to shock your body with something different, try a burpee broad-jump mile like this lunatic:

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jen permalink
    January 4, 2010 1:58 am

    A burpee mile!! That’s amazing!

  2. DelRae Messer permalink
    January 4, 2010 4:37 am

    That’s crazy!


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