Hindsight is a magical thing, it helps you realise all the mistakes you’ve made along the way. So if I could go back in time and tell my younger self three things about health and fitness, these are what would choose.
Thing Number One: Exercise IS FOR YOU
Growing up as a kid the biggest mistake I ever made was assuming that exercise was only for a certain type or breed of person. I used to tell myself that I wasn’t fit enough or strong enough or sporty enough to exercise. In fact I’ll be the first to admit that I used to suck at sports lessons. It was only when my step-father made me a bet that I couldn’t run a half marathon that I actually began exercising. And to be honest that was more out of stubbornness than any real belief that I could do it. When I first ran I was dreadful. 400m almost killed me. But I stuck at it and as days became weeks I started to notice that I was getting better. That 400m soon became a mile which soon became 3 miles and so on until I completed my first half marathon. As I crossed that finish line I felt amazing, partly due to the buzz of those endorphins but mainly for another reason…I had finally realised that the only thing stopping me from accomplishing anything was me
Thing Number Two: Exercise Makes Everything Else in Life MUCH Easier
It’s amazing how the human body can adapt to imposed stimulus. It can increase the number of alveoli in the lungs to improve respiration. It can increase the number of capillaries throughout the body to improve blood flow. It can grow more muscle fibres to become bigger and it can craft brand new neural pathways to become stronger. Exercise is a magic tool through which incredible things happen. Your breathing becomes easier. Your actions take less energy. Your very movement becomes more graceful. In short, life becomes easier when you have a body that is capable of fully expressing the brilliance within you.
Thing Number Three: Exercise is SIMPLE
When I first started lifting weights I thought that it must be super complicated. I assumed that because there were so many strange terms and complex programmes that it must be difficult and that I’d have to study for ages to get started. I was wrong. Exercise is Simple. It can be as straightforward or as complicated as you want to make it. And if you want to know a huge fitness industry ‘secret,’ the simpler the programme the better results most people will get by doing it. Complex and elite level training is only designed to benefit elite level athletes, and neither you nor I are one of those! Choose a few basic exercises, spend 10-15 minutes learning how to do them correctly and get going. If you want to be a good runner, get running. If you want to get stronger, start picking up heavier things. There are a million ways to overcomplicate exercise, but what’s important is that you get started.
Good Luck and Stay Strong
Alex Parry is a certified Geek Gone Strong. He now runs his own Strength & Conditioning business where you can go to get advice on strength, fitness and personal development. Check him out at http://www.characterstrength.co.uk/about