Adopting fitness as a philosophy and becoming an avid advocate of this way of life, it gets easier to recognize not only all of the benefits, but also what makes it what it is, and even more importantly what are the cornerstones that allow this agent of change to transform your life.
If we start with the notion that fitness is a part of your lifestyle, we start to realize the complexity of it.
Promulgating it as some sort of supplementation, on the other hand, or a way of looking like this or that in 30, 60, 90 days from now is what gives a misleading picture.
Fitness is all about feeling good, being healthy, increasing your range of motions, making you perform better in life, both physically, as well as mentally and emotionally.
But stepping into the world of fitness, the average Joe seems confused – Which program do I take? How many push-ups do I make in one rep? How to step over the plateau and actually see results?
Doing fitness the way athletes do it
Athletes never care about looks. Instead they aim to perform better – as simple as that. And having to get to the point where they dramatically improve performance, great looks come as a side effect.
What athletes pay attention to is range of motions, balance, coordination, speed, power… So, the trick goes, that aiming for all of this, you are actually rewarded with looking good. On top of that, you end up being in super shape.
The three pillars of Fitness
In order to adopt fitness as a part of your lifestyle, sticking with it for good, you ought to avoid dreading it. And this is often the case. People start with some sort of a fitness routine, fall into the habit of doing it only for a moment, and then after a while things start to get boring and discomfort kicks in.
Well, enthusiasm can only bring you so far. After that it is all about discipline, but discipline means incorporating whatever that is that you do into your daily schedule without necessarily hating it.
In other words, the line between discipline and dreading is very thin.
The first pillar of fitness, probably the most important one, helps to eliminate the reasons why people quit.
And these are boredom, injury or plateau. Sometimes one of them, sometimes all at once, the average Joe cannot seem to escape.
Here is how to obliterate any chance of them invading your routine.
Variety, according to me, is what makes fitness what it is. Endlessly counting the reps in the gym, hoping that your bicep will eventually match that of the Hulk is OK for some when you think about it, and weightlifting, even seen from a 10.000 feet point of view has some definite merit.
The thing is, though, that this one sided approach towards fitness renders you deprived from all the other benefits that this philosophy of life has to offer.
Approaching fitness, with such one sided and one minded understanding, makes it inchoate at best.
What Variety does on the other hand, is ensuring that you get your improved range of motion, you get your speed as well; you get your balance, your endurance, your power, your strength… your fitness.
Variety means adding yoga, taking the dust off from your bike on the weekend, doing some reps experimenting with resistance exercises, adding some hardcore cardio maybe.
It adds the element which makes fitness diverse, both in appearance as well as results.
So how does variety solve the problem of plateau, injury, boredom?
As for the last, it gets obvious right away – you mix things up, they tend to get more interesting. So boredom is out.
Regarding the injury aspect, it solves the puzzle as well. Training more parts of your body, and training them in different way allows one not only to avoid overworking one of them or avoid feeling fatigue, but also strengthen them beyond measure. The more the angles of impact or stretch, or press, the stronger the muscle tissue becomes.
And finally, we are left with what is probably the problem which nine out of ten people experience when they wrap their hands around this “fitness thing” – plateaus.
Variety answers this as well- just as mentioned before, the more points of impact, exercise wise, you give to the body, the better it responds. In addition, after certain period of time we all get accustomed to the type of exercise we are doing. Having this said, our body stops responding to the stimulus. Variety, meaning adding something new or different, makes this process never to appear.
This is also the part which indicates that fitness is a thing for life. Not some program designed as for you to flip through, but something to take as a part of what you do and who you are. Or better yet – something that makes you who you are.
Translated in vernacular it gets simple, really – three days per week are not your life if you put the statistic in play; neither are four.
So make at least five days of your week exercise friendly, and even go light on the other two and put some fitness related activities in there as to get into the habit of embracing this lifelong philosophy.
Judging by the way you are and feel after an exercise, fitness easily gets the status of a haute couture beauty. Or crack, if that’s your standard and measurement. Kidding now…
What I mean is, why then, if feeling so good and noticing all of the benefits, will you stop at four days per week?
If it’s good for you, do it all the time. And results will come.
So how will you look after 30 days from now? I don’t know, probably better. But the thing is that today, TODAY, you will be healthier, improve your range of motions, be able to perform better physically mentally and emotionally, feel better and slow the aging process.
Having to observe this it gets interesting from various points of view.
First, it brings forth variety. You know, upping the ante, among other things means having to go where you never been before. And this is variety if you ask me. Not by definition, but still…
Secondly, it makes you avoid the plateau effect on a different scale. There is never time for the muscle to adapt and hence assume the pattern of repetitions and sets down to the number.
But most of all, what this does, is launching you into a new ball game. Upping the ante, means that every day you are getting better, every day you tap deep in order to access character traits that beg for being taken to the surface, such as discipline, persistence, dedication; and you access your will power more than ever. This goes beyond the fitness routine and relates to other areas of your life.
Fitness is definitely a philosophy, a way of life; and in order for it to be complete and encompass various aspects of our lives in a positive vein, it needs some pillars upon which the idea is to evolve further more. Naive and seemingly simple as these pillars I just talked about might sound, they make fitness what it is in its entirety.
Image credit: By Method Fitness