A great article showed up in my inbox yesterday. It discussed the concept of comfort and discomfort or stressed and unstressed.
But those terms are not necessarily the opposite of each other. In terms of our muscles we can’t exactly say that no stress is unhealthy; too much stress is unhealthy; but that the right amount of stress is great.
They referred to this as antifragile.
Something that is antifragile improves and become better, healthier, and stronger with increasing stress—to a limit, that is. The article demonstrates graphically that there was a Valley of Comfort—in this comfort zone there is little stress to challenge our tissues, so that they eventually weaken, atrophy, and become distinctly unhealthy.
To the far left is the Land of Distress—if there is too much stress applied to our tissues they become damaged, degenerate, and wear out. Between these two extremes is the perfect balance, which amounts to good, healthy, and necessary stress. Here the body reacts and recovers from stress, making the areas just used even more usable.
In essence, this is the land of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Not too little; not too much. Just Right … And this is the place I talk about in class. You want to go to that space that provides a good stretch; but not to pain. Here is the link to the article if you wish to read it in more depth.
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