DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS FOR ATHLETES
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© December 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
INTRODUCTION – THE BENEFITS OF ATHLETICS
There are many physical and psychological benefits to working out and participating in athletics. These include but are not limited to improved oxygenation and circulation of the blood, massage of the organs, secretion of endorphins and other chemicals that have a calming and euphoric effect on the body, and more.
Athletics is also important for children, since it helps their brains develop coordination, vision, hearing and many senses, in fact. However, this is true only up until the age of about 20 or 30 at the most. Then it tends to interfere with development, as we will mention below.
Athletic competition. In addition, athletic competition is an ancient pastime of the civilized world. It brings people back to their roots as hunters, for example, as they challenge “the enemy”.
Sports, with its strict rules, also help people to realize that simplicity in life is a good thing.
Athletic games on television also remind people how lovely and beautiful human bodies can be when they are fit, as some athletes are today.
For criminals. Athletics are also excellent for some criminal types of people, who have trouble following any rules or having much discipline.
Thus, one sees athletics used positively in the ghetto with delinquent boys, for example. This, by the way, is the most positive use of athletics in modern society and the reason we say the Olympics is very good for them to watch and emulate. For the others, it is mostly a waste of time, however, as is discussed below.
PROBLEMS WITH ATHLETICS
1. Too much exercise stresses the body and depletes many nutrients. This weakens the thyroid and adrenal glands, among other organs of the body.
2. Too much exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which is not healthful.
3. Girls sports in middle school, high school and college have a number of benefits. However, they often lead to rape these days. This is discussed in a separate article entitled Girls Sports.
4. Too much exercise slows development. This is a critical factor. For details, read Introduction To Development on this site.
For this reason, we do not recommend sports very much, except as mentioned above for children and youths in the teen years. Even here, they would be better off with less emphasis on sports and much more on their studies, meditation, relaxation, more sleep and rest and more creative activities such as art, music and others.
Fitness is mainly about diet and rest, not running every day. Walking is excellent, but not running, swimming in chlorinated pools, or even surfing in the ocean.
Life is not about the physical body. Thus, the key is to keep the physical healthy with the minimal effort and attention given to it. For more on this topic, see the article entitled Exercise on this website.
BENEFITS OF A DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR ATHLETES
A development program can benefit amateur and professional athletes in
many important ways. It can mean
the difference between a mediocre season and a winning one. Benefits
include enhanced strength and stamina, better mental clarity, awareness and
focus, prevention of injuries and burnout, rapid and more complete recovery
from injuries, better weight control, and improved general health. Nutritional balancing is also an excellent
way to guide diet and supplement recommendations for athletes. Here are more details about these
STRENGTH AND STAMINA
the oxidation rate enhances the efficiency of energy production in the body
cells. A very slow or very fast
oxidation rate is similar to running a car or bicycle in the wrong gear,
producing poor energy efficiency. Different
sports require different metabolic attributes. For example, a fast oxidizer may do well as a sprinter. However, a slow oxidizer will often
succeed better as a long distance runner.
Iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, chromium, zinc and other minerals are intimately involved in cellular energy production. The proper combination is the key. Identifying and eliminating excess toxic metals is also most helpful for energy, flexibility and stamina.
Stabilizing carbohydrate tolerance also contributes to stamina. A balance of many nutrients including calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and chromium are required for the proper metabolism of glucose to generate sustained energy.
MENTAL CLARITY AND FOCUS
clarity, awareness, judgment and a quick response time are a major part of all
athletic performance. The brain is
a chemical organ, and requires a vast array of nutrients for proper
functioning. All toxic metals
interfere with the central nervous system, leading to impaired mental
biochemical imbalances invariably leads to improved mental focus and functioning for
An important problem in athletics today is the behavior of team members, on-field and off. Nutritional balancing helps enhance emotional clarity and stability, leading to better attitudes and behavior.
IMPROVED HEALTH AND AVOIDING BURNOUT
later in the season, many athletes go into burnout. Chronic fatigue and related problems are common among
athletes. Nutritional balancing
programs are excellent to help prevent and correct chronic fatigue and burnout among
Colds, flu, pneumonia and other illnesses often plague athletes, especially those who travel and train hard. The immune system and resistance to infection depends on a balanced chemistry and the availability of a variety of vital nutrients. Nutritional balancing permits monitoring and correction of imbalances before one gets sick to help maintain excellent health during the rigors of training, as well as during while traveling.
imbalances cause weak joints, tendons and ligaments, excessive inflammation and
muscle tears. Balancing body
chemistry can help avoid injuries by maintaining stronger ligaments. It can also help reduce the need for
antibiotics and other drugs by improving the immune system and general health.
Each year a number of supposedly healthy high school and professional athletes die from sudden heart attacks and even strokes. These tragic deaths can usually be predicted by stress indicators from a properly performed and interpreted hair analysis. They could be prevented through dietary changes and proper supplementation.
Without mineral testing and nutritional balancing, athletes often take needless risks - and suffer the consequences. Standard blood tests do not reveal this information.
of the most impressive uses of nutritional balancing is to speed up recovery
from fractures, sprains and other injuries. Many nutrients including zinc, manganese, copper, calcium,
magnesium and a variety of vitamins are required for healing of injuries. When these are provided in the correct
amounts and combinations, the results are most impressive.
A low sodium/potassium ratio or an abnormal phosphorus level in an unwashed hair sample are associated with excessive protein breakdown or catabolism. A chronic catabolic state can impair or even prevent the normal healing of sports injuries.
Stubborn problems with food cravings and weight control plague some athletes. Nutritional balancing offers a scientific and individualized method of approaching this issue in a safe and effective manner. Nutrition programs can assist with both weight gain and weight loss.
OTHER TOPICS –
Most athletes take a variety of supplements, some of which are incorrect and perhaps even dangerous. A development program is very helpful to assess the adequacy of the diet, and to guide the use of supplements to balance and enhance body chemistry. Once again, a development program requires that the mineral testing laboratory does not wash the hair, and that the test is interpreted in terms of the oxidation types.
Drugs in the Olympics. Many athletes today are, in fact, quite unhealthy. This is due to stress from overtraining, poor diets, medical drugs, and the use of stimulant herbs and illegal or other drugs used to enhance performance.
MYTHS ABOUT EXERCISE
Myth #1. Strong muscles and a beautiful body indicate you are in good health.
These may make you feel like you have health, and everyone may tell you how wonderful you look. However, I work with people who look great, but have cancer or some other disease. It is certainly wise to care for your body, but health goes far beyond muscles and fat content. Don't judge yourself and others only in terms of how much exercise you can do. Physical strength is only one parameter of health.
Myth #2. A healthy heart and healthy arteries indicate you are healthy.
is a recent fetish. Experience
with many people shows that if your body chemistry is truly in balance, the
arteries and heart will be healthy as well. Gentle exercise is beneficial for everyone, but a
narrow-minded focus on cardiovascular fitness is not wise.
Recently a 25-year old woman consulted me complaining of fatigue and depression. She was doing aerobic exercise 3-5 evenings a week. Her heart and arteries were probably fine, but her glandular system was so exhausted she could hardly get out of bed in the morning. Her hair analysis indicated a depleted, exhausted body. Exercise was just aggravating the problem. This case is typical of the 'exhausted exerciser'.
Myth #3. Exercise rebuilds your body.
assists circulation of the blood and oxygenation of tissues, and can help
rebuilding in this sense. Mild
exercise is excellent for these
purposes. More than this, however,
can stress the heart, arteries, and glands. They are forced them to respond to stress, and to use up
energy in that response. Muscles
enlarge as a response or accommodation to stress. Healing and rebuilding is largely a biochemical phenomenon,
requiring proper nutrients, and often requiring rest so that energy can be
directed to the area in need of healing.
Research supports the idea that moderate exercise can provide the same
benefits as vigorous exercise. The
point is, don't overdo exercise any more than you would overdo any other
To exercise when you feel well is great. To exercise "in order to feel well" is skating on thin ice. Today, most people are subtly malnourished due to consumption of food that is low in trace elements and other nutrients. No amount of exercise will make up for these deficiencies. It is a mistake to think you can compensate for a biochemical problem by exercising. The result will be that you will feel well for a while. Later, you will find yourself addicted to exercise. If you skip it for two days, you will feel depressed, irritable or exhausted. This occurs because exercise stimulates the adrenal glands and can keep exhausted glands functioning - like whipping a tired horse. If you stop whipping, naturally the horse will not feel like getting up.
Myth #4. Exercise cannot be harmful.
Most marathon runners are good for several years. Then they must retire because they are 'burned out'. Many professional athletes die young. Indeed, they have one of the shortest life spans of any group of adults. The slow heartbeat of professional runners is due in part to their healthy heart, but also due to a mechanism to slow their metabolism, because they put such strain on their heart. Cysteine is released from muscle tissue and slows the thyroid. The idea that since a little is good, more must be better, can be lethal when applied to exercise.
YIN AND YANG, LIFESPAN AND EXERCISE
Some exercise or activity helps people to become more yang, a positive effect of exercise for some people. It can even enhance the oxidation rate a little. However, too much exercise wears out the glands, the kidneys and the body in general, and makes the body more yin and ill. This may be one reason that professional athletes do not live long lives, as a general rule.
other reason professional athletes have shorter lifespans, generally, is they
learn to eat a lot of calories while training, but then when they stop training
hard they keep eating the same way, and it is very unhealthy for them.
GUIDELINES FOR EXERCISE
1. Don't use your pulse as your only guide. Many people are not that healthy, in spite of a normal pulse rate.
2. Follow common sense and stay in touch with the body. Don't push past exhaustion. Listen to yourself before you listen to any coaches, experts or friends. Go at your own pace. Do as much exercise as you need to keep yourself fit for your lifestyle. That is enough.
3. Don't use exercise as a crutch or drug. If you are running to get away from your problems, you are misusing exercise. If you are addicted to exercise, work toward getting unhooked, as you would with any other addiction. Addiction is not health.
4. If you skip exercise for a few days, you should still feel fairly well. If you are depressed, exhausted, constipated or irritable you are probably using exercise as a whip. Cut down slowly and look into other reasons why you are feeling this way.
5. A tissue mineral analysis performed by a lab that does not wash the hair, and interpreted by someone who understands it well, often can tell you if you are overdoing exercise. Often, the sodium and potassium levels will be low, or the sodium/potassium ratio will be low.
These indicate adrenal exhaustion and a need to moderate and rebuild. Gentle exercise is acceptable, but vigorous exercise in this condition only slows regeneration.
6. Studies show that gentle to moderate exercise regimens provide as much benefit as vigorous exercise. Involve your whole body. Exercise outside in the fresh air whenever possible. Flexibility is as important as strength and endurance. Stretching and deep breathing are vital for health.
Walking, swimming, bicycling and gardening are excellent. Long-lived people of the world often work hard and long, but not necessarily strenuously. Meditative exercises such as yoga or tai chi are also excellent. These involve stretching, deep breathing and a moving meditation as well as developing strength and endurance.
The great exercise guru, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, author of Aerobics, changed his mind about heavy exercise. According to his press release, he became disturbed by repeated stories of young people, supposedly in the best of shape, who developed cancer or had heart attacks at a young age. He realized that gentle to moderate exercise is plenty and he no longer recommends the same level of vigorous exercise he once advocated.