Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Is Fitness Broken?

I read this post written by a fitness center titled “Fitness is Broken”. It talked about the common focus on the first two months of being active/joining a gym/changing habits and ignoring the long term. It was a great read, and not just for someone just starting out. You can check it out here…don’t worry, you can go read it. I'll wait.

That post made me think about my current/next two months. You see, right now I am kind of in a transitional period. Hmmmm….maybe transitional period isn’t the right phrase. Right now my focus has transitioned to different forms of movement and activity in order to help me better focus on my goals; strength, flexibility, balance, and some inner fucking peace. 

What does that look like?

Yoga, gym time with Anna (which is a mix of cardio and strength training), hiking with Erick and Gordie, relaxing on the beach or in the hammock or really anywhere outdoors, walking and exploring where we live and when we travel, trying new classes just for the fun of it, joining a cornhole (bean bag toss) league. It’s really whatever I feel like my body needs and honoring that.

I was asked the other day what does a normal week for me look like in terms of activity and my response went something like this. I typically aim to be active 5-6 days a week but I count any type of intentional activity as activity. I am not limiting what I consider activity to going to the gym or a class or a run but instead I classify activity as any time I intentionally choose to move my body. Not that I am not saying I don’t plan out my activity for the week or try to set a schedule to follow because during the week I really need to. Not just for me but for E and now Anna, both who need me to commit my time to something in order for them to be able to get in their activity too. But stating that I am aiming for 5-6 days with intentional movement allows for some flexibility too. It means taking yoga instead of running, or lifting weights instead of cardio machines. It allows me to focus more on my body and less on a plan.

Which after pretty much a year of following training plans for half marathons, Ragnar and working with a physical trainer my body is so ready for some flexibility, literally and figuratively.

Why do I write all this? Well, because that article brought home some really good, and applicable, points about the purpose of being active.

It’s good to be focused on my next two months but it is also good to focus on the big picture and how these months play a big part of it. In two months I will be changing up my routine again and starting back into half marathon training. These two months are key to preparing for that. Like the article said “the next two months are about doing something that will make the months to follow even better”. That is my focus, taking care of myself in the now/short term in order to make my long term better. My focus needs to include both.

Also, the article talks about consistency and how the idea that we need to be motivated in order to exercise is poisoning our mind. Exercise should be drama-free and stress-free and something we WANT to do. Something that should come to us as easily as reading, practicing an instrument or any other hobby, not something we need dread, fear or something requiring an outside element (motivation) in order to do. If this is how we are feeling about the exercise/activity we are doing it will be a difficult and unlikely habit to maintain.

The article makes a lot of really great points (yeah, you really should read it) and I think it resonated with me so strongly because this is where my head is out now. This is how I feel about exercise and being active: it’s a gift. It is something I enjoy. It is something that I know will help make my future better. And I hope you feel that way as well.

And I hope that today you are also able to make decisions that will help maximize your life and set yourself up for future successes.

Love and hugs,