Physical Exercise As A Discipline

Physical health is a foundation to productive living. As long as we are able to move, we should be moving. Meditation and study require attention and an alert mind. Physical exercise as a discipline impacts all the other disciplines.

There are two men who are regulars at the gym I frequent (when I’m in town). I started there in 2000 and they were already regulars. One just turned 84, the other is 86. The first walks every day. He rides his bike for an hour or two during summer evenings. The other one still runs marathons–yep, the 26 mile variety. He just won his age group (OK, not tons of competition there, still…) three weeks ago in one. He did a couple of triathalons after he turned 80 (biking, swimming, running).

I began running in the mornings in the late 1970s when one spring I discovered that I was terribly out of shape. Mostly I run with the goal of being able to referee soccer rather than run in competitions. But it keeps me moving.

My “Getting Things Done” mentor and developer of the Nozbe productivity application, Michael Sliwinski, just wrote on his blog about running–✔ Born To Run by Christopher McDougall – (audio) book of the week. He discovered what I discovered a year ago–modern running shoes are bad for you.

I heard about minimalist running shoes and thought those would be great to pack on my trips (lighter, less space). Then I discovered that this is actually a movement. You shouldn’t have to beat yourself up and wind up in pain from running. Our ancestors could run for miles a day chasing their next meal.

Running may not be ideal for you given physical restrictions. But keep moving to the extent your body allows. It sharpens the mind, improves your outlook on life, and helps you make new friends. Physical activity improves your spiritual life.

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