Gym - or not to Gym

It doesn

Most people waste time, effort and money when they decide to get fit again. The statistics show that most gym memberships are hardly used, most people give up on their fitness programmes within six weeks and most never tackle the areas that will make a real improvement in the long term. 

It doesn't have to be like that

For at least the last fifteen years I 've been hearing my contemporaries complaining of not being as young as they were. The triggers range from feeling stiff the day after a long walk to struggling to pick up a heavy load; running for a bus or playing football with grandchildren.

The truth is that this has little to do with age; it's more to do with lack of use. It's true that absolute potential will eventually start to decline as you age but we were born to run, jump, lift, throw, carry - even trip and fall. Modern sedentary lifestyles mean we stop doing these things ever earlier. 

Many (most?) simply assume it is age that is robbing them of their physical attributes and give up. Those that do decide to do something about it tend to flock to the gym or take up "jogging". What they don't realise is that there is much more to fitness than muscles or cardio. 

Fit for life

The idea of "fitness" is so bound up with sport that we often forget that there is much more to being fit. It includes, amongst other things:-

Flexibility

Agility

Static Balance

Muscular Endurance

Muscular Strength

Speed

Power

Reaction Time

Cardiovascular Endurance

Coordination

Body Composition

Dynamic Balance

And if you want to be truly "fit for life" the key is to get the right balance between the different aspects. And even many amateur sportsmen and women get it wrong focusing exclusively on those aspects that apply directly to their particular sport. (Which increases their risk of injury and leaves them far short of reaching their potential)

Where do you begin?

There are two things you need:

  • The activities and exercises that will counter the effects of modern lifestyles.
  • An understanding of what has become of your body, why it happened and how to make the difference.

Activity and exercise

Recapturing the fitness and vigour of your youth is a gradual process; it took many years to lose your natural fitness and you cannot expect to become fit overnight!

The good news is that, if you approach it the right way, you can make dramatic improvements very quickly. But the way to start is not by grabbing running shoes or dashing off to the gym to get on the static bike or weights.

There are three simple steps you can take that will make a difference almost overnight and they don't really involve what you would think of as exercise.

If you want to know more you can down load the guide to Returning to Fitness here.

Understanding What, Why and How

Modern living will almost certainly have compromised your flexibility, agility, and coordination. In addition, in common with almost everybody, you are probably not breathing the way you are designed to.

If you start vigorous exercise without working on these you lay yourself open to injury, make it harder to improve and are less likely to keep it up.

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