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lundi 13 mai 2013


We look at Doctors as guardians of our health, and expect them to follow what they preach: Eat Well and Exercise.
A recent study published in the USA, makes you realize that what the ancient wise men had repeatedly said: There is no meaning to words if they are not followed by action.
It was interesting to note that the physicians who were happy in their professions did exercise more and were leaner!
If the doctors can’t follow their own advice, how can you expect the patients who are counseled by them to do?
Nearly 2 out of 3 persons living in richer countries are not doing sufficient physical exercise. Even though they have come up with this magical number of 150 minutes of physical activity per week, one has to make this part of your everyday activity such as eating.
I remember the Humble Man of Bogor telling me, if you just do what you can EACH day you would soon realize that it will become like an “addiction” and you will begin to feel the absence. (Sure enough, within a few weeks of beginning daily activity, when the winter set in the northern hemisphere, I lamented each day that I could not do some physical activity)
Not every one should aim to look like body builder or behave like one (Arnold Schwarzenegger comes to mind!) but the ancient sages including the American Indian elders when talking about Harmony in our lives, talked about the slow and smooth flowing of daily life.
Breathing exercises or Greeting of the Sun in the morning or offering of prayers of gratitude were all parts of the cultures, some of which survive amidst us to this day.
It is not only that the modern lifestyle leaves you with less time, but also with less harmony in life. So one has to strive for harmony: within oneself, with ones environment and workplace and of course harmony with friends and family.
Let us concentrate on Physical Activity for a minute!

Lancet, the British Medical Journal, had a report of a symposium of some leading researchers in this field:

The team of 33 researchers drawn from centres across the world also said governments needed to look at ways to make physical activity more convenient, affordable and safer.
It is recommended that adults do 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling or gardening, each week.
The Lancet study found people in higher income countries were the least active with those in the UK among the worst, as nearly two-thirds of adults were judged not to be doing enough.

The World Health Organization also says physical inactivity is the fourth largest contributor to global deaths, and increases risk of some cancers, diabetes and heart disease.
This above statement is no surprise, as we know that Physical Inactivity is the GREATEST contributor of ILL HEALTH not only in richer countries but also in emerging countries such as India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.,

How much should you weigh? On the average, you should weigh
100 lbs. for the first five feet of your height and then
Six pounds for each additional inch if you are man and five pounds for each additional inch if you are a woman
So if you are five foot five woman, the ideal body weight is 125 pounds and for a man of the same height, it would be 130 pounds. These are not hard and fast rules but a general guideline. If you are five foot five and you are very athletic, your muscles would contribute your weight and you may weigh more than 130 pounds, in which case you have to make sure that your adult weight has remained stable over a period of time.
Body Mass Index is calculated by dividing your weight in Kg by square of your height in metres and expressed as Kg/M2.
For Europeans, normal is considered to be 25, but there is an attempt to bring it down to 24, as 25 kg/m2 of BMI does not clearly take into account the body fat, which is far more important a measurement with regards to health.
Asians, normal Body Mass Index is considered to be 22 kg/m2, unless you are very fit in which case the muscle mass will increase it slightly. But for an average person BMI of 24 is overweight and a BMI of 27 can be considered Obesity if you are Asian or part Asian.

What sort of activity should you do?
First of all, it is very important to understand the role of Activity in Health. It is not good to think of exercising to loose weight, even though it might be a beneficial side benefit of it. You should exercise to feel good and contribute to your own health.
Depending upon where you live, your social and cultural situation (Saudi Arabian Women are not known to exercise, for cultural reasons and the Malaysian girls are already sweating under their head to toe coverage under the hot and humid sun) you can choose the level of your participation in physical activity.
One thing is very important. Whatever you decide to do, what is MOST important is not the amount, intensity of your physical activity but the fact that you have to be consistent with it.
You can read in any ancient philosophy and they repeatedly advise you to be consistent, it is not enough to do it once in a while whether it is being good to your fellow human beings or breathing exercises (Pranayama) or walking or High Intensity Exercise.
As the Humble Man of Bogor explains: Hey, Doc, you have to do it every day!
Whether it is New York or Singapore, one refrain I hear is: I don't have time.
I silently ask them: What do you have time for?
A person who says they don't have time, it also means that they don't have time for you, and your friendship.
But we cant neglect our friendships with them, even if they don't have time for us, so we have to find ways of counseling them about exercise and physical activity.
This lack of time has given rise to some High Intensity Work outs and they last only seven to ten minutes at a time. Presto. Scientifically shown to decrease Insulin Resistance and BP and in general increase well being.
In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.

“There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author of the new article.

Work by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and other institutions shows, for instance, that even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.

Interval training, though, requires intervals; the extremely intense activity must be intermingled with brief periods of recovery. In the program outlined by Mr. Jordan and his colleagues, this recovery is provided in part by a 10-second rest between exercises. But even more, he says, it’s accomplished by alternating an exercise that emphasizes the large muscles in the upper body with those in the lower body. During the intermezzo, the unexercised muscles have a moment to, metaphorically, catch their breath, which makes the order of the exercises important.

The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a effort and discomfort scale of 1 to 10, Mr. Jordan says. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, difficult but bearable. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done.

Believe it or not, our humble man from Bogor has been doing just that.
Once stuck in a hotel gym because the outside weather wouldn't permit him to do his exercises, he struck up a conversation with an American who instructed in the quick intense exercise programme. He brought it home to Indonesia and each and every morning, after the running and Jogging around the Sentul Lake, the managers who have joined him for the Sentul Lake reunion, come back to the office and Pak Joe leads the gang in quick succession of high intensity exercises. It lasts no longer than 20 minutes with intervals for rest and chatting. He is able to do it without discomfort but I see varying degrees of discomfort and when I participated in it, muscles I knew not to exist began hurting. But the effect was immediate. After just two days, I could feel the effects on the abdominal wall.

On my last visit to Bogor and my friends there, the humble Man of Bogor agreed to do a video for the staff of the American Indian Programme on prevention of Diabetes among Adolescents. He was very careful to modify the High Intensity Programme knowing full well that even staff members involved in the prevention of Diabetes may find the intensity too much; he only included exercises, which ANYONE can do.

So even if you are partner in Crunchem and Stealem EYMG Accountants, in New York or Kuala Lumpur, you can spare four minutes per day, The life you save would be your own, and you no longer have to sleep alone with your iPhone or iPad as others may find you more attractive than before!

It was interesting to see Dr Moseley who is a Medical Correspondent for the BBC, undergoing tests to prove or disprove the High Intensity Training; he was pleasantly surprised that his Insulin Resistance did come down, making him less liable for future Diabetes. This is what he had to say:
Based on what I've learnt I've been trying out my own 'Twenty Plus' campaign; 20 seconds of intense activity when I can (running up stairs, cycling like crazy for short bursts on my bike), a minimum of 20 minutes of walking every day, and no more than 20 minutes of sitting at my computer or in front of the television without getting up and moving around.
Dr Michael Moseley BBC

Good Advice!
20 minutes of walking per day, High Intensity Exercises at 20 second interval spurts and not sitting in front of TV or Computer more than twenty minutes at a time.
Say also NO to Facebook, Google Plus, Yahoo Messenger. Make your iPhone your helper and not the Nazi Dictator it has become!
Spend more time with your friends, face to face, even if you have to travel a long distance to do that.
The Humble Man of Bogor had this to add for my American Indian friends: (echoing the studies done in Florida University)
When you are doing this short Body Works Exercise programme, you are not using just leg muscles but also the upper body muscles, including the muscles of your neck, so that 80 per cent of the body’s muscle cells are activated. If you do only running or jogging, only about 20-40% of the muscle cells are activated: walking or moderate intensity jogging or normal bicycling.

Welcome to Bogor, Welcome to Indonesia, Welcome to our Group of Friends of Pak Joe. And regain your health or improve your health.
See you at 6 am at the Sentul Lake, from where you can see the majestic Gunung Salak looking benignly at you!

 My good friend in KL, MC, who was my Yoga Teacher would recognize certain of these poses as Asanas prescribed by Patanjali. As it is said in Yoga Sutra, without understanding the philosophy behind ones action, stretching exercises such as Modern Yoga practised by the Fake Yogis of the West would be just stretching exercises only bereft of the great benefits Yoga can render to a person, their personality, their personal life and not to mention the health benefits.

For a person who is unaware of Yogic Philosophy, he seems to be a Practitioner of it, fully integrating Practice with Action.

 This is the BP and Pulse rate of the Humble Man of 
98/68 mmHg
Needless to say these readings are Excellent for a Man of any age!