We have all heard the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Mr. Jim Rohn had a great presentation of this concept. I was fortunate to see him speak live twice and meet him (and thank him) the second time. He passed away in December 2010. He said:
We’ve all heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, I’ve got a good question for you: What if it’s true? Wouldn’t that be easy to do? To eat an apple a day? Here’s the problem: It’s also
easy not to do. Or the guy messed up the saying … and says “A Hershey bar a day …”, no, no … it is not a Hershey bar. You have got to be smarter in philosophy [principle] than to fall for a Hershey bar a day when it is an apple a day … that philosophy is called accumulated disaster.
[Reference: “The Art of Exceptional Living”, CD1 – Mr. Jim Rohn.]
Now a Hershey bar is fine once in a while, but more health success comes from a philosophy of choosing the apple every day or at least *most* of the time. But there are many categories of apples we need to be healthy:
- Nutrition “Apple”: ingesting fuel
- Fitness “Apple”: maintaining our mobility
- Relationship “Apple”: interacting with others
- Spiritual “Apple”: having a sense of gratitude perhaps
- Others …
In all of these areas, some experiences have the apple effect, some experiences have the Hershey bar effect and some experiences might even have a more immediate negative effect. Take the fitness “apple”:
- If you don’t get any exercise, no apple.
- If you get Hershey bar exercise, still no apple with some degree of accumulating disaster.
- If you get poison exercise, still no apple but even more immediate problems.
But what is Hershey bar exercise? It might be any exercise that has a potential negative side effect. Over time the negative stress may be additive and one day you end up injured or at the doctor’s office. As Mr. Rohn would suggest (paraphrased): “You can’t get faked out by the Hershey bar just because you don’t feel the effect after the first day”. Or you might go to excess and eat twenty Hershey bars and feel ill right away. A Hershey bar is processed and unbalanced. It provides fuel and perhaps some enjoyment, but it also violates some basic principles of nature.
It is also possible to “get too much of a good thing”; you might eat 7 apples at once thinking you can take the rest of the week off. So there is a balance, a consistency that supports health. The key is to, on average, get your apple a day of natural and balanced exercise so you can get all the healthy benefits from your activity while limiting the negative.
But how to you do that? The “apple” exercises are based on simple principles of biomechanics, of physics and of nature. And there are many types of fitness apples. Variety is another concept to provide a balanced range of activities and stimulus. Examples might be walking, running, reaching, crawling, lifting, resting, etc.
If you walk, how do you walk? Are you sure you are getting the fitness apple with limited negative stress? If you run, how do you run? Are you sure your ‘how’ is based on principle? Walking and running is a repetitive motion which can result in additive stress or some degree of accumulated disaster if you are not careful. If you are not sure how you walk/run or not sure what the “apple” principles of walking/running might be for you, the be sure to check out ChiWalking/ChiRunning. These approaches to fitness have been helping people for over a decade create a consistent fitness apple program based on simple principles.