Wellness Refocused

Wellness Refocused

6 April, 2017
Patrick Reynolds @ Kenzai
Your Intellectual Zoom Lenses

We all know exercise is good for us and we should take care of our bodies. But sometimes the drive just isn’t there. We asked Patrick Reynolds, founder of the popular Kenzai online wellness platform, to share
one great way to motivate ourselves to live healthier... and longer.

Physical training and eating properly, if viewed as a chore, can induce tedium and monotony. You’ll get better results if you engage the mind as well as the body. One of the ways I do this is by using what I call my ‘intellectual zoom lens’. Example: if I’m in the middle of a rough set of push-ups, I find it helpful to ‘zoom in’ a bit; I think about how the pectoral muscles fan out from my sternum to my shoulder at various angles, and which angle in particular is being taxed at the moment.

If I increase the magnification further, I can consider how the burning sensation in the muscle is due to excess protons accumulating as the waste product of my body breaking up ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Or I can go even further and think about how protons are made of two up quarks and one down quark, and how everything in the universe is made up of these crazy fractional charges, and how, essentially, my chest and shoulders are on fire because I’m choosing to continue moving my body up and down against the gravitational force of an entire planet.

Somewhere in there, a push-up suddenly became interesting again. That’s the power of the intellectual zoom lens.

Let’s now turn the zoom lens on the question of ‘why’. Why eat right? Why exercise at all? Why not let it all go, pack on some body fat, and relax?

At the default zoom level, I can answer that I just feel better when I eat right and exercise. I sleep better, I think better, and I can be more present. Zooming out a bit, I can say that I like being able to keep up with my daughter and her friends. I don’t want to be that dad who has to take a breather on the playground every five minutes.

Zooming out even more, I can think about how making healthier choices with my food and time moves the societal needle; I’m not giving money to processed-food manufacturers, I’m giving it to vegetable growers instead, voting with my dollar for a healthier society. And if I keep zooming out, I get to my big answer, which is that I’d like to squeeze out as many functional, productive years on this planet as I can.
Why? Because being alive at the start of the 21st century is like winning the “history of mankind” jackpot. So many things are coming together now. It’s an exciting time to be around. So, when I’m choosing vegetables and fruit over processed food, and hitting a workout instead of lounging around, I’ve got my eye on maintaining this body and mind for a solid 50 years. Because there’s no way I want to miss things like the decline of fossil fuels; self-driving cars; deep space exploration; biotechnology; artificial intelligence; and the innumerable things we don’t even know we’re going to discover, learn and create yet!

This is what compels me to take care of whatever will grant me more years to see how it all unfolds. We know what the best practices are for a long and healthy life: don’t smoke; eat a varied diet of mostly vegetables and fruit; maintain relatively low body fat; exercise consistently; and listen to your body’s needs. If you can get these five things right, you have a good shot at seeing what the future has in store. And if you zoom out, you’ll be reminded that it’s worth it.

By: Ecozine Staff


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