Fitness is the new black, am I right? Society dictates unwritten rules on how we should look like, conduct our lives, dedicate to certain rituals and after all ideals.
Since nobody is teaching this new ideology and allowing us to gradually process the whole thing, we are, more often than not, prone to accepting served and chewed up advice, adopt a concept which to label as being vague is an understatement.
So we have the stereotype of the gym rat, the ultra-skinny girl who still keeps running, the group of people who jump right on top of the weight scale after even a ten minute working out and so on…
And as we go into further analysis things really start to get funny, but alas, it’s after all nobody’s fault.
Albeit knees deep in fitness, some people really tend to oversee the complexity of it which consequently leads towards things like frustration, self-doubt, disappointment…
And being enamored in the whole philosophy of fitness for quite a while now, as well as trying to learn and pass the knowledge from guys like Tony Horton, this article almost writes itself.
Here are some truths about fitness you probably never thought about:
1. Fitness is not centered just on itself
By the majority of people coming across this term fitness is considered to be this thing which is centered entirely upon itself.
The truth on the other hand is far from being so naive. You see, fitness reflects upon many other areas in life too. For starters, it is closely linked with the pursuit of personal growth in any segment in life; and at a number of levels, that is.
It positively affects the mood, builds character through discipline, will power, determination, diligence.
2. Fitness is something more than just looks
The “why” plays one of the most important parts of the whole puzzle. Starting from the obvious and somewhat excessively commercialized aspect of looking good, we see the glitch right away.
Adopting fitness as a life philosophy just in order to look good in front of people on some wedding you were invited to is stupid. And that is me putting it in the most diplomatic of ways.
Focus on more important things such as health, physical ability, improved mood, having a good time, changing yourself one step at a time. Looks will come as a side effect. Focus on challenging yourself.
3. Diversity brings fitness to a whole different level
The word organic is gradually becoming associated with positive things. So let me use it here too – make your fitness program as organic as it can be.
Make it diverse, make it compound, make it so that it never gets boring. My point being – the more diverse the program, the better the results.
It infuses muscle confusion (not allowing the muscles to adapt to a certain pattern of movements, thus eliminating the plateau effect in exercising) – this concept is advocated over and over by Tony Horton, the guy behind the most sold fitness program in the world – The P90X.
I see people doing the same reps in the gym over and over; people praising running as the only thing they ever need; people tilting towards Pilates or aerobic or yoga. And my question always is: why not try and mash these up? Combine movements, combine principles, combine…
4. Increasing the intensity is an inseparable part of the whole thing
“I’m not getting short of breath any more”- well up an ante then. Add the pounds on the bar; increase the mileage or drop the seconds; hold that yoga position for a while longer…
You see, in performing repetitive tasks, the risk of complacency is always present. Get rid of it by simply trying to be better than your yesterday self.
5. Fitness relies on continuity
Expecting progress in results implies the need of continuity. Some people try workout programs like P90X
or Insanity and quit on week two or three. No sir. The need of continuity, as in any other area in life, perfectly applies here too.
6. Over doing is always wrong
I’ve seen many people trying to squeeze two workouts in one day albeit it is clear that they cannot do even one of them properly-
It’s the classic “If things cannot be fixed with a hammer, you need a bigger hammer” type of philosophy.
Wearing yourself down day after day is counterproductive in relation to every benefit that fitness can provide. Muscles not being allowed to grow, feeling constantly fatigue, releasing hormones such as cortisol – all of this starts to constitute an anchor holding you down.
7. Everything can be modified
There is never a single way of doing things. I’ve already written about this one in a slightly different connotation, but it applies here perfectly as well.
Who says that you must do all 45 minutes of the workout today?
Who says that you must do the push-up all the way down?
Who says that you cannot make varieties of every single exercise?
The thing is, you see, that you can customize everything. The absence of such philosophy is probably what made most people resent fitness in the first place – at gym class or at the field of high school football, there is always room for the more athletic ones. Everyone else on the other hand is being set aside.
No sir. Not anymore. You see, fitness can be enjoyed literally by everyone. And as you go through various modifications, you can sense the progress and then perform better.
8. Fitness allows you to go more easily through any transition in life
9. There are many ways according to which you can measure fitness
Applying different criteria by which you measure your progress in fitness indicates either failure or success.
Think about the weight scale for example; obsessing yourself over numbers may indeed lead you in a wrong direction.
If you see five pounds more for example, it may indeed be muscle gain which is a good thing, so why worrying. Obsessing over such ways to measure your fitness progress is downright stupid.
And not oh-look-how-cute kind of stupidity either. It’s rather driving-down-the-road-until-you-kill-someone kind of variety.
Fitness can be measured on many accounts, so you chose yours.
10. Fitness is what you make it to be
Fitness is nothing concrete and set in stone if you think about it. Favoring this notion it means that you can decide for yourself what fitness means for you.
Try and constitute your own philosophy and approach as long as it includes health, ability to perform better physically, improved mood, fun, opportunity to improve even in other aspect of life.
Fitness doesn’t mean looking like this or that in four, eight or some more weeks. No. It means doing something today in order to feel better today. In order to be healthier today, in order to be better yet tomorrow.
It is a way of life, a philosophy even, and treated as such it becomes a part of who you are and what you do. Everything else is just a temporary solution which ultimately leads towards frustration.
Fitness today, not treated separately from what makes you who you are, makes you the person you want to become tomorrow.