Often times in life you wonder why you have to do certain things. I remember thinking this in school all the time. Why do we have to read these books or learn this thing? I would ask that question because I thought I would either never use it one day. The real reason I would ask this If I’m honest is that I preferred do something else.
This is the final email on a series I started a couple of weeks ago talking about the WHY behind exercise. In workouts we often do various movements. I had a question a few weeks ago by a member that prompted me to write this series of emails.
The first message was unpacking the question if working out is even necessary. You can see it here. The second email was focused on the four health levels and markers associated with them. Click here to read it. This email will paint a vision for you to see what a healthy lifestyle can mean for your future.
I went to Colorado in October with my family and the picture above shows my son, Ames, and daughter, Cate, sitting at the peak of one of the mountains we had just hiked. We hiked almost four hours that day. The weather was beautiful. All six of us hiked together. This picture along with several others is a memory that the six of us share together of this special moment.
The morning of this hike I went out on a run to this very spot. I did not know it existed and I just went out on a run and hit various trails. When I found this spot I knew that I wanted to bring Alicia and our kids to see it. The run was almost 5 miles and had various climbs of elevation. It was a challenging run but the view was worth it all.
Everything is Everything
Workouts are strengthening your body and building up your stamina. Sitting on a rower for 10 minutes doesn’t mimic hiking a mountain but your heart, legs and several other muscles are working hard to keep you going. Squats are essential in life. Burpees are simply laying down and getting up. Pull-ups strengthen your upper body but are relative to the ability to pull yourself up off the ground. I could go on and on. Everything we do transfers into the world outside of the gym.
My favorite way to explain the purpose for exercise is that your level of health gives you the ability to express your fitness in everyday life. If you are not healthy then simple tasks in everyday life challenge you more. The more healthy you are the more you can express it in everyday life. For example, water skiing is you expressing your level of fitness in that way. Throwing the football with your kids and playing outside with them is your body expressing it’s level of fitness in that way. Going to an Aggie football game and walking up the stairs and all over the stadium is your body physically expressing itself in that way.
Some of these tasks ask more of you physically than others. Some are difficult and some are not. I want to be able to do physically what I want to do and not be limited by my physical ability. If my kids want to go outside and play I want to be able to physically say yes. If my daughter wants to run a 5k I want to physically say yes. If a group of guys want to go on a backpacking trip and hike everyday of the trip I want to physically say yes. Those may not be things that you want to do but there are things that are unique to your life that will ask of your body physically. The effort and time you put into the gym transfers into those things.
The more days you workout over time the better your health. You are not playing a finite game of health. This is an infinite game. The game doesn’t end while you are alive. Pick a strategy that you can do for the rest of your life. No less than three days per week. If you workout three days per week for the rest of your life you are on the right path. Eventually you will want to add a day. But let that come naturally. Don’t try to force it.
Keep it Fun
Working out should give you life not take away from it. This is where the community of people around you can make a big difference. Fitness with friends is more fun that doing it alone. Plus if you are doing it alone you are more likely to skip days. You are the only one holding you accountable which doesn’t work. Find a workout structure and framework that works for you.
Set a Goal
What is something that you cannot do physically right now that you wish to do? Is there something you have said no to in the last year or two because you were not fit enough to do it. Or maybe there is something that you did but it was very difficult and you thought to yourself this shouldn’t have been that hard. Write it down and create a fitness plan to accomplish that goal. Don’t put it off. Start now.
It’s okay to ask for help. Letting others support you can make a big difference. If you’re feeling stuck in your wellness journey, accountability might be the key to progress. Having someone check in with you regularly can help keep you on track towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember, it’s not easy to make changes on your own, so don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Together, you can achieve your goals and live a happier, healthier life.