By Jerry Romansky Dear Jerry: After playing sports at college I became lazy and stopped exercising. Recently, as a middle-aged…
Dear Jerry: After playing sports at college I became lazy and stopped exercising. Recently, as a middle-aged guy, I started a decent exercise routine and even added daily meditation. My wife is still in excellent shape and has been an excellent influence.
In observing people around me, I notice that most are in shape and obesity. On the other hand, people who spend seemingly spend the whole day practicing or meditating. Some guys in my health club are there when I visit. Because my schedule is completely inconsistent, these guys must be there four times a day and do nothing else with their free moments. I have also encountered people who spend almost all day meditating.
I had appreciated your opinion when I had your columns on exercise, meditation and hundreds of other issues.
Tom G., Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Instead of answering “yes” or “yes” or “no,” I will answer in essay form.
For the post, I am a clear advocate of daily training and daily meditation. It means as close as 365 days a year as possible. During spring it would be 366 days a year.
Let’s start with exercise. The perfect type of physical fitness is open to personal preferences (and of course health considerations). For me, training includes indoor swimming, running, cycling, weights and abdominal exercises all year round. For almost everyone, fitness is best achieved through the type of exercise you like or at least the kind of exercise you do not dislike. Some people may require a training assistant. Some work best in an exercise class or at a health club. Some, like myself, practice independently.
Practically, meditation is the same. The ideal type of meditation is open to personal preferences. For almost everyone, meditation is best done by a type that is comfortable. Some individuals may require a meditation adviser. Some work best in a meditation class. Some may read a meditation book and be disciplined enough to meditate diligently. To me, daily meditation began decades ago with a class; It continues, independently and efficiently, with my original “mantra”.
There are literally millions of books on subjects of exercise and meditation. Public libraries, local bookstores and online resources are suitable places to start. Talking with acquaintances who train and meditate successfully is usually useful.
To address Tom’s exact question, here’s my opinion. Exercise and meditation are most valuable in proper moderation. Unless the full-time perspective includes fitness or meditation, practicing them all day everyday can almost defeat the purpose. If the ultimate goal is an improved life, exercise and meditation is not the ultimate goal. They are heading towards that goal.
Jerry Romansky is a syndicated columnist. Readers are invited to write in English or Spanish: Ask Jerry, Post Office Box 42444, Washington DC 2001
5. Email [email protected] and (due to spam situation) write the name of your newspaper in subject heading. Questions of popular interest are answered in the column. Unpublished letters can not be answered individually.