Motivation Versus Moderation And What Is Safe Exercise For Better Health?


Tweet from Larry Creswell (@athletesheart) and FitOldDog's (@FitOldDog) reply.

Tweet from Larry Creswell (@athletesheart) and FitOldDog’s (@FitOldDog) reply. Click on figure for link to article referred to by Larry.

Hi! Thanks for stopping by!

Deb in her limo

Deb in her ‘limo’ after a 12-hour night shift in the Emergency Department. Deb loves her limo (city bus) because it is free and Deb hates waste and burning gas unnecessarily. Deb is motivated to take the bus.

I must admit that I really like Twitter. It has turned into my most valuable media networking and information delivery tool. I hasten to add that the information I am talking about is the stuff that comes my way. For instance, I follow Larry Creswell (@athletesheart), and today an interesting tweet came into my Twitter stream from Larry (see above). The issue was the relationship between endurance sports and health, including a series of comments and debate. The article starts with an interesting quote from a famous runner:

“If you do it for a love of sport, that’s one thing. We understand that. But that’s not the same as doing something for your health.”

Amby BurfootPublished, June 14, 2012

I find this puzzling, as surely the two should always be combined. How can we separate sport and health? To undertake a sport responsibly it is essential to understand its impact upon your health. If you want to exercise, via a sport, to improve your health the same applies. It is really all about respecting my favorite mantra, safe exercise for better health.

The FitOldDog Safe Exercise Wheel runs clockwise, starting at the top, with reward or celebration as a critical final component of each cycle.

Click for Podcast describing my approach to safe exercise.

This is where the potentially dangerous conflict comes in between motivation and moderation. When I started as an amateur triathlete 15 years ago, I was highly motivated to succeed, but after two knee surgeries, some bike wrecks, and serious bonking in a race or two, I got my act together. I learned from my mistakes (eventually) and started to approach the sport more wisely and, interestingly, with increased enjoyment.

It is critical that one does not risk one’s health in order to win races or matches, or ultimately you actually lose. In my opinion, winning is all about enjoying the sport for as long as you wish or can, not a cup or medal or whatever. This is even more important in professional sports, where the athletes are role models for others – just look at the cycling drug debacle, and the negative impacts that has spawned. Which brings me to moderation and another tweet:
Tweets between Actwell (@ActwellIntl) and FitOldDog (@FitOldDog).

Tweets between Actwell (@ActwellIntl, really nice, helpful people, as it turned out) and FitOldDog (@FitOldDog), where it was indicated that Ironman training might not be considered to be moderate – in response to some comment I made about people getting off their butts and exercising (OK! Maybe I wasn’t very tactful), but this tweet spawned this blog post – fascinating topic – what is moderate exercise?

In my book, when it comes to the article referred to by Larry and the response from ActWell to my TV comment, moderation in sports is an individual-specific issue, At the end of the day there are two key factors to consider, (1) your level of body awareness, or do you know when you are hurting yourself, and (2) your personal risk-benefit analysis, how much risk are you willing to take to indulge in the sport or activity of your choice? This is a matter of individual choice, moderated by personal education on a body awareness level. This is why the FitOldDog safe exercise for better health training wheel starts with the study of body awareness.
Neither doctor nor other health professional, friend, coach, or even your mother, can tell you what is an acceptable level of exercise in your particular case. It’s your call! Take all the information and advice these people can provide, then work it out for yourself and have fun, whatever you do! Life is brief!
Thanks Larry and the people from ActWell. Your material and comments are very much appreciated.
PS Excuse the weird spacing. If Google Chrome crashing while I’m working on my site it sometimes locks me into in a weird font that will not go away, which messes up spacing that refuses to change however much I try to edit the article. I don’t want to write the whole thing out again, so there we are. It’s readable, anyway.


Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.