Oh, the beauty of balance! Yes, you can get too much of a good thing. A new study claims that people who run a lot – not moderately – tend to have similar risks of dying as those who do not run at all.
A little running – say 3 to 4 miles a few times a week – has health benefits. Run too much and it loses its health benefits. Of course there are individual differences as with any human studies, but logic always seems to come back to balanced living for better health. Ultramarathoners: you would definitely not be considered moderate. Isn’t 26.2 miles enough of a challenge?
Balance is not an easy concept to define with precision, but it is still a good basic guiding principle for healthy living. Believe it or not, we all “know” where the point of balance is for our unique bodies. The problem is that not many of us trust that we know.
Let’s face it. We are addicted to information, and there is plenty of it out there: the TV, magazines, newspapers, friends and acquaintances, and the internet. All of these sources are external input. What about the internal indicators we might get if we tuned in more often to that channel instead!
With increasing information about what to eat, when to eat, and why to eat – not to mention the many versions of advice and “proof” – our diet-crazy culture has lured us away from the true messages of our wants and needs.
Too much? Feel sick, stuffed? It could be a response to thinking you need less than you do, failing at that craziness, and “blowing it.” Or, it could be the result of not taking true care of emotional needs. Emotions need balance too.
Too little? Feeling starved, weak, deprived? Your true balanced self would tell you it’s crazy not to eat! External messages that imply (or come right out and tell you) it should be enough are not in your best interests either. And what about all those ads that show what fun you will have if you eat all those tempting gooey treats? Just more confusion.
Tune back in to your needs! It will likely feel uncomfortable at first. “Who me?” you ask, “I’m the expert on balance?” Yes, you are! Here are a few tips:
1. Feeling sick to your stomach = too much
2. Irritable, hungry, worried about eating too much = too little
3. Enjoyment of a balance of healthy AND delicious food in the quantity needed for a vital life and a mind that is not overly-fixated on the next meal = perfect balance
It’s really that simple.