The Go Ahead Signal

The Go Ahead Signal

If you’re past the age of 35, one thing that is absolutely essential before embarking on any serious strength or fitness program (and by serious, I mean more strenuous than power walking), especially my G.U.T.S. program, is a medical checkup. In all likelihood, your body is quite ready to benefit from a world-class exercise program. But your medical doctor is best qualified to detect any reason why you should not exercise, should there be one. And, besides, it will give you peace of mind when your doctor says that all systems are GO!

I bring this up because not long ago, a man arrived at my office straight from his physician’s office, feeling and looking totally bewildered. He said to me, “John, my doctor says I’m in perfect health. But I don’t feel healthy.” In talking with him, it became obvious that he sensed, as many others have (who have hit the big 40 and noticed their waistline expanding), that something was wrong that his doctor had failed to detect. My response was. “Carl, c’mon, your doctor said you are healthy. Take his word for it. By healthy, he meant that as far as he was concerned, there was no detectable degenerative disease that prevents you from getting back into super shape. So it’s time for you to stop worrying and start training and eating right, so you can look and feel super healthy once again.”

Truth is, there is a great difference between being healthy and physically fit and simply not being unhealthy. The medical sciences can help us detect and cure specific illnesses, but we can be technically free of disease and still not truly be vigorous.

To a great extent your body systems function unconsciously through the sympathetic nervous system. Nevertheless, well chosen exercises can greatly improve your respiration, circulation, digestion, and many other systems by stimulating the specific muscles involved to do their work properly. A sensible exercise program is, in fact, preventative medicine against breakdowns of the human machinery.

But being in great shape pays off in other ways, too. A friend of mine who is a surgeon has told me many times, “You know the fit person on the operating table.” And it’s true. The right exercise and the right nutrition strategies are the world’s best preventative healthcare programs. Many of my friends and students have reported the startling disappearance of headaches, a decrease in colds, and the vanishing of many other aches and pains once their exercise programs were well underway.

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