Eli: “I don’t really seem to understand what the difference is between energy and stamina. Would you mind explaining that to me, sir?”
Arthur: “Absolutely. The human body needs the energy to make sure the different systems in our body are working properly. And let’s say you want to run 5 kilometers, you will need stamina and energy to get that done. Because your systems will have to work harder when you’re running, they will need to have the stamina to keep the energy flowing. Stamina is the amount of energy being used over a certain time.”
Eli: “So how do we get more stamina?”
Arthur: “You have to train stamina. Your systems need to get familiar with building that energy for a certain time. For example, you can train your body for a longer distance. So for a training, you can run 7 kilometers, instead of 5 kilometers. Your body will be trained to keep the energy level over a longer period. However, that doesn’t mean that you will run with the same speed, especially in the beginning.
Take a space shuttle, for example, that needs a lot of energy to get launched into outer space. It really has to fight the earth gravity in order to reach that. But when it reaches space and gets away from the earth’s gravity, it doesn’t need the same amount of energy. And therefore it just needs to have the stamina for a short period of time, but more power and speed.”
Eli: “I think I get it, sir. So how about energy, how do we get more of that?”
Arthur: “Well, we gain energy by consumption. We need to get the right nutrition to give us energy. We’re giving our cars gasoline, not sand in order to let the engine run. So we humans can’t eat sand as well to gain energy. We will need to eat meat, vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, and seeds. This is really the basis of our nutrition.
Inside the food we eat, we can find macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients will provide us the energy, like carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Micronutrients are essential, but the body needs a less amount of them than macros. Minerals and vitamins are micronutrients.
In the car metaphor, we can see that gasoline is the macronutrient and the oil for the moving parts in the car are the micronutrients, they make sure the mechanics keep moving.”
June: “So what advice do you have for us to eat?”
Arthur: “That’s a whole other discussion we can have. Right now I would like to stick to other subjects, but we’ll get back on the nutrition part.
When you want to train the body and you just start training the body, it’s hard for the body to get to a run of 5km, especially when a person doesn’t exercise often or even move.
I had been depressed at a certain time and I had no energy to do something. I just didn’t want to do anything. My body hadn’t done any movements at all. The only movement it got was when I had to go out and buy some food. I didn’t have a job back then and that made things even worse. Anyways, I was visiting a psychologist and I was advised to do some sports or at least some movement. Luckily I was able to get some training from someone.
It started slowly. For 1 minute I had to do some running, but just at a speed where I could run and talk at the same time. After that minute I had to walk for 2 minutes and repeat this process 4 more times.”
Laura: “That doesn’t really sound like a training, sir?”
Arthur: “Well, from someone who runs it might not sound as much as a training, but for someone that doesn’t exercise at all, it sounds too much. But, I was in a position where something had to change. And this was the first step.
If I would take a run of 5km right away, that would have been too much. The next time I wouldn’t go out for a run because I would give way too much energy. The body didn’t have the stamina yet to make sure the energy flows the right way. It would need to overcompensate. And to go forward, you have to take one step at a time.
When you start the car, you don’t go to the third gear right away, do you? When you’re going to start driving, you’ll take the first gear. When at the right speed, you will shift gears.”
Eli: “Oh wow, that makes things so much more clear to me. Thank you, sir!”
Arthur: “You’re welcome! But we’re not done yet. In order to finish a 5km run in a certain amount of time, you will need more than just energy and stamina. There are more systems in your body that will need to be trained.
That space shuttle I mentioned before, well, it needs power and speed as well. It has to fight the earth’s gravity in order to get into space.
There’s a difference when you want to run 100 meters as fast as possible and finish a marathon as fast as possible.”
To be continued…
Disclaimer: This is a conversation that happened in my thoughts. This conversation doesn't mean it's true. It is based on my experience and knowledge I had just at the moment of writing it. So I haven't done any research to back this up.