09 October 2008

About the dangers of physical activity

Victoria Solnechnaya, "Kiev Vedomosti"

Since childhood, we have all been taught that sport is the key to a strong and healthy body. Sometimes physical education was equated with physical work. Work, according to many, develops muscles and thereby makes a person healthy and hardened. However, this is not the case. Physical work, rather, leads to disproportionate muscle development, and health only worsens from it. And some researchers question the benefits of sports.

Office loafers overtook workers

Many of those who perform hard physical work believe that they do not have to go in for sports – they already have enough load to keep themselves in good shape. As Croatian researchers found out last year, this is not the case. The fact is that in most cases, physical activity at work, unlike exercise, is not selected by volume, intensity and duration. That is, those who believe that they are engaged in exercise at work, in fact, only stand, walk, lift weights or work with their hands. As a result, the muscles of the arms develop well, but the rest of the musculature may even be in worse condition than those of office idlers who do not do sports at the same time. The study of Croatian scientists involved men aged 20 to 60 years, divided into two groups, differing in the intensity of workloads in the workplace. To test the strength and elasticity of the muscles, the participants of the experiment were offered several exercises, and only in one of them – the compression of the fingers – those who performed hard work showed great muscle strength. In other tests, especially for the elasticity of muscles and ligaments, office workers who did not exercise were far ahead. Such results suggest that, despite physical exertion at work, it is necessary to perform a set of exercises that make the loads on all muscles uniform. Physical work is certainly easier for young people to tolerate. At the age of 35, it can also be useful. But even sports are sometimes contraindicated for people older than middle age.

Relaxing on the couch is the best exercise

In some cases, physical exercise is certainly useful. They help to fight excess weight, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases, as well as impotence and peptic ulcer. However, in some cases, the path to longevity does not lie through gyms, exhausting races and bathing in cold water. For many people, the best simulator can be... favorite sofa. And the best exercise is daytime sleep, the best motivation for "classes" is simple healthy laziness. German Professor Peter Akst came to such absurd conclusions at first glance. In his book "The Joy of Laziness", which was published a few years ago, he encourages readers to simply waste their free time enjoying doing nothing. In his opinion, people who forcefully get to the gym to give themselves up to an occupation that does not bring any joy, harm themselves. But laziness is a good protection against stress.

Running to memory loss?

Professor Akst believes that a light walk keeps the shape well, but nothing more. This applies primarily to older people, who should carefully monitor the energy consumed. Studies have shown that people over the age of 50 who are engaged in running spend on it the energy that they absolutely need for other purposes. According to Akst, they may experience memory loss and accelerated aging. Other experts agree with the professor's conclusions to some extent. In their opinion, physical activity should be selected individually and become part of a lifestyle. If a person is forced to commit violence on himself every time just to get to the gym, he should find other exercises that will bring joy and satisfaction. Twenty minutes of physical education three times a week is already a good level of exercise for a person who does not crave athletic achievements. We should not forget that health is defined by experts of the World Health Organization as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not only as the absence of disease or defects. Is there such an urgent need for a slim figure, a fit athletic body, powerful pumped-up muscles, if they belong to a nervous nervous subject who is constantly in conflict with relatives, friends and neighbors?

What hurts athletes?

When it's not about morning exercises, but about serious sports achievements, the body, like any "means of production", wears out. We are talking not only about injuries, but also about chronic diseases. For those who are professionally engaged in ballet – and this can also be considered a sport – growths on the bones of the foot are characteristic. Weightlifters suffer from spinal diseases. Football players, in addition to injuries of the ligamentous apparatus, get joint diseases. This list can be continued. Therefore, for an ordinary person in physical activity, as in many other things, a measure is important.

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru09.10.2008

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