During my studies of Chinese medicine with the Italian physician Anita Cignolini, MD, she repeatedly emphasized that when we exercise excessively we are expending our Juan Chi. This Juan Chi can be compared to an inheritance which we might receive from our parents. But unlike our inheritance which we can invest and make it grow, our Juan Chi is limited and for the most part is gradually expended with daily living. So we must be careful to guard against depleting this Chi too quickly, as it will lead to an earlier demise.
One type of exercise which tends to deplete your Juan Chi is marathon running. Dr. Al Sears in his book PACE: The 12- Minute Fitness Revolution talks about nature’s exercise pattern. Through history the usual human exercise pattern has been running as fast as possible for only as long as necessary to catch lunch or to avoid being lunch. He also mentions that animals exert themselves in small bursts followed by rest. You will never see an animal run for hours on end.
Dr. Sears points out that running long distance creates an inflammatory storm in the body that is identical to the early symptoms of heart disease. One study found that 35% of marathoners had significant levels of arterial plaque, compared to just 22 % of non-marathon runners. Dr. Sears also cites multiple scientific studies proving that short burst of intense exercise are best for restoring more youthful lung capacity, lowering cardiovascular risk, and reducing body fat while building muscle.
Terry Pfau, DO, HMD