Why fitness? Who needs it? Why is it so important?
Our bodies and minds were created to be functional. As humans, we are made to mobilize, to lift things, to direct things, to create things, to build things, to walk, to run, to jump, to reach things, to grab things, to throw things… you get the point. So why is society trying to push people toward jobs that lead toward a sedentary lifestyle?
I just graduated from a technical institute and it’s mind blowing how inactive many of the students were. Four years of sitting in the game-room between classes playing computer games or going to their dorm rooms after every class to “nap”. I remember during the spring of last year, it was gorgeous out (just like almost every spring season…) One of the staff members walked through the commuter lounge to get people to go outside and enjoy the warm weather. Some of the students ignored her as they repeatedly clicked their mouse away while simultaneously leaning closer and closer to their laptop screen; others looked at her like she was crazy! I guess risk getting a blood clot is worth it to not enjoy warm weather and enjoy what the body needs… not true. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the gym and my love for fitness I would sadly be one of those students…
One pet peeve of mine is when people make excuses, especially about “time”. (which is the most commonly used excuse when it comes to fitness and health.) But this doesn’t just apply to fitness, this applies to anything in life. Why even THINK about using “time” as an excuse. You have time to party, club, drink, play video games, watch porn, sit on your ass and not do anything? Time is the most vital gift that God (or another supreme power you may or may not believe in) has given us and a lot of people are not using it wisely! What’s funny is that the people who complain about not having enough time are the ones who are actually wasting it away! I’m not saying that you should stop enjoying some form of entertainment all together but be responsible with how much of it you take part in throughout the day.
So what do I tell these people when they come to me for fitness questions and/or quit training with me after the third week? Plan. Simple as that. Plan your days. What is it that’s so important to you that it literally takes up so much that that you can’t even dedicate 30 minutes of physical improvement (I don’t like using physical activity because anyone can participate in a physical activity without improving their fitness level and health). Plan the amount of hours you will sleep, plan the amount of time you are going to spend sitting in front of a TV, plan the amount of time you will use to eat your meals, plan the amount of time you will use to read (self improvement), plan the amount of time you will spend at work (for those who don’t have the typical 9-5), plan the commute time, and make fitness a priority.
Fitness needs to be a priority and I understand it can be tough to begin implementing this into your lives. But like anything in life, you have to work for it. If you’re passionate about your life and what you do (regardless of what it is), why not use that passion to participate in activity that will enhance your productivity in what it is you LOVE doing?
Get a workout partner, specifically one who has similar goals as you or one who you know will push you and keep you accountable for your workouts. If you can’t find a workout partner, then hire a personal trainer -a good one! One who has patience, who will motivate you, push you, help you achieve your goals, and help you to become a better version of your self. Through friends that I have trained, (particularly the ones who are brand new to fitness) I have learned that it is important to find out what it is they enjoy doing. Introducing them to different workouts and exercises is great but it’s crucial to be patient. If they don’t like a particular exercise, don’t perceive that as them “whining”. Try to find an alternate way to work out that muscle group. Also, by giving them lee-way in trying to find what they enjoy doing makes the process a whole lot better, enjoyable, and even leaves me with a great learning experience (just another exercise to add to the books).
With that said, do NOT be afraid to start now. Really look at yourself and think about how your daily life operates. How active are you? How active were you once before? What happened during that turning point that prevented you from being active? How is your confidence level now compared to before? How are your energy levels now compared to before? How have your eating habits changed? What if you could overcome a fear (running a 5k, hiking, jumping on a high-box, jumping out of a plane, rock climbing) if you could overcome a fear, imagine what other things you can accomplish?
My professor once told us that even after college, we should always be life-long learners. This is completely true. Learn about yourself and your body. Understand how your body is functioning, understand what your body should be doing. Understand why your body feels a certain way. In order to become smarter you break through mentally academic challenges, in order for you to become stronger you push (or pull) through resistance training, in order for you to become more mobile you work on flexibility, in order for you to become closer to God or spiritually inclined you pray or meditate. For you to become physically fit, you simply participate in physically improving exercises.
Let’s break it down now…
- Time, use your time wisely. Don’t pollute your subconscious mind with the lie of “I have no time”.
- Plan. If you truly believe time is an issue, then start planning/journal your daily activities and begin to tailor your day to make enough time to workout. (at home or at a gym).
- Prioritize. Make fitness apart of your life. I’m not telling you to become a gym rat or an iron addict, just walk for about 30 minutes every morning. Be active. Give your body what it deserves.
- Start now. Start now, become a better you. Get a workout partner (family, friend, your dog, who/whatever will get you off your tail! -no pun intended).
Always remember this,
Invest in yourself, you only have one body.