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مدیر وبلاگ : محمدحسین کاظمی
In the name of God
Exercise and the Soul: Aristotle explains how exercise can be a moral virtue: Upcoming Book “Super Body, Super Brain, May 2010″
We all have values. Values are the core of our existence. Values are for the soul what oxygen is for the body.
Can Exercise be a moral virtue? What is virtue? Can exercise make you a better person? Are you using exercise to do harm or good to your body? We have heard the word “virtue” many times but we are not sure if we could come up with the right definition nowadays. Sometimes what comes to mind is some mystical power from antiquity, some slang from the Greek Gods… but you will see how that definition is among us and it is up to you to be a virtuous person.
Ethics refers to the study of moral principles of the human being. We study ethics in order to improve and enhance our lives, and therefore its principal concern is to address the nature of human well-being. Exercise and a Super Body, Super Brain program can improve your life.
What is virtue? Why is virtue so important? Can exercise helps us achieve virtue?
Do you have values? Virtue is related to values. Each human being has a core of underlying values that contribute to our system of beliefs, ideas or opinions.
There has always been this debate in the classical Greek period questioning whether you were born with a virtue or not, and if virtue was related to an extensive experience in certain field or not. Plato and Aristotles were in disagreement regarding this “moral issue”.
According to the great philosopher Aristotle, we can say that there are two types of virtue: intellectual and moral. Intellectual virtue can be gained at birth and its growth is related to learning (needing experience and time), while Moral virtue comes about as a result of habit. In my opinion, if we are looking to improve our lives and to enhance our health, we can use exercise and living a healthy life as a moral virtue. According to Aristotle and Nichomachean Ethics, a human being must find the point of excellence, or the golden mean, by eating neither too much nor too little. By acting with excellence, or according to virtue, the person incurs all the good consequences and avoids all the negative ones. What we need, in order to live well, is a proper appreciation of the way in which such goods as friendship, pleasure, virtue, honor and wealth fit together as a whole.
The Beneficial Effects of Proper Exercise Extend Right to the Soul
For years people have associated strength training exercise with bodybuilders and athletes. Yet only a very small percentage of men or women possess the genetic ability to develop relatively large muscles and the majority of us do not fit into this category. It seems strange why people would worry about developing too much muscle when they should be worried about the real problem and that is losing muscle.
After reaching maturity in our early twenties our bodies begin a long and gradual degenerative process with muscle tissue loss being at the forefront. This loss amounts to around a half pound per year and continues throughout life. After age 50 the rate of this loss doubles creating a cascade of health problems and increasing disease risk.
Whether they like it or not without adequate and regular muscle building and maintaining exercise adults lose 20 to 40 percent of the muscle they had as young adults. We once believed that this was an evitable part of the aging process but now we know that it is a result of not doing enough muscle toning exercise. We used to get enough of this type of activity in our daily tasks and activities but with technology, cars and modern household appliances we can get through the day without exerting ourselves.
This has a damaging effect on our body and although there is a downward spiral of accelerated aging happening we often are not aware of it until we need to do some physical activity and struggle to find strength and endurance. We may even feel tired, unmotivated and even depressed as this downward spiral drags our health down and our metabolism slows like some old aging engine that has lost its power.
With this neglect of our body they become storage depots for stress, mental instability, disease and illness. But you can totally turn this around with a program of proper exercise to help restore lost strength and inner peace. This is one of the reasons it is difficult to measure the health benefits of proper exercise as it effects extend right to the soul.
People think that as they get older they do not need to bother keeping their strength. But this decision impact on others such as families when a person loses their strength and becomes unable to do the most basic of self care necessities allowing that burden to fall on someone else.
People often think exercise will tire them out but you become more tired sitting around doing nothing. Exercise energizes you and this works like a snowball. Once you create more energy you become more active more often. Then you get more energy pushing you along and it all becomes easier and more enjoyable.
Instead of slowing down and looking for ways to expend as little energy as possible get rid of this negative mindset and trade it for a positive one that looks for opportunities to be really active. Along with your strength training exercise program 2-3 times each week, dig the garden, wash the car, and turn off the television and instead of sitting get moving.
When you adopt a new attitude of moving more you will become healthier in your body, mind and spirit. If you listen closely you will hear an inner voice saying 'Thank you".
Exercise can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety
Even a little exercise helps. Use these realistic tips and goals to get started and stick with it.
If you have depression or anxiety, you might find your doctor or mental health provider prescribing a regular dose of exercise in addition to medication or psychotherapy. Exercise isn't a cure for depression or anxiety. But its psychological and physical benefits can improve your symptoms.
"It's not a magic bullet, but increasing physical activity is a positive and active strategy to help manage depression and anxiety," says Kristin Vickers-Douglas, Ph.D., a psychologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
When you have depression or anxiety, exercising may be the last thing you think you can do. But you can overcome the inertia. See how exercise can ease depression symptoms and anxiety symptoms. Plus, get realistic tips to get started and stick with exercising.
How exercise helps depression and anxiety
Exercise has long been touted as a way to maintain physical fitness and help prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. A growing volume of research shows that exercise can also help improve symptoms of certain mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. Exercise may also help prevent a relapse after treatment for depression or anxiety.
Research suggests that it may take at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for at least three to five days a week to significantly improve depression symptoms. But smaller amounts of activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — can improve mood in the short term. "Small bouts of exercise may be a great way to get started if it's initially too hard to do more," Dr. Vickers-Douglas says.
Just how exercise reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety isn't fully understood. Some evidence suggests that exercise raises the levels of certain mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain. Exercise may also boost feel-good endorphins, release muscle tension, help you sleep better, and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It also increases body temperature, which may have calming effects. All of these changes in your mind and body can improve such symptoms as sadness, anxiety, irritability, stress, fatigue, anger, self-doubt and hopelessness.
If you exercise regularly but depression or anxiety symptoms still interfere with your daily living, seek professional help. Exercise isn't meant to replace medical treatment of depression or anxiety.
The benefits of exercise for depression and anxiety
Exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits when you have depression or anxiety. These include:
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