One Simple Fitness Principle

I definitely need to preface this by saying that I am not an expert in this field, nor have I received any formal education on this topic.

I am purely speaking from life experiences and a compendium of research, that I have personally sent through my bullshit filter. Keeping that in mind, please consult your doctor before engaging in any physical activity.

In the purest understanding, fitness is a very subjective topic. Everyone has his or her own opinions on what works and what do not. Fitness is a combination of ‘research’ and bro-science.

For this reason, fitness has become a convoluted topic, with varying opinions filled with incredibly adamant people affirming their knowledge.

My base understanding of fitness consists of one core principle: Be active everyday. By being active everyday, I mean, doing any sort of physical activity. I intentionally make it sound vague.

When I first started ‘working out,’ it consisted of playing unorganized sports with friends. I wasn’t naturally gifted in any sport, but I enjoyed the act of running around with a basketball or a soccer ball.

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Key Principle – Be Active Everyday

Find something you thoroughly enjoy doing and all of the other elements of fitness will fall into place naturally. To stay fit in the long run, you need to see fitness as children do – for fun.

When it starts becoming work, you slowly consume willpower and eventually fall off. You have a limited amount of willpower each day. As we get older, we use up willpower on chores, kids, wives (and husbands), making dinner and taking out the garbage. Often, fitness is the first thing on the chopping block.

When you do something you enjoy, you take willpower out of the equation. Your natural inclination will be to gradually increase your workout. You continue to do it because you want to and enjoy it.

When you’re active everyday, your body feels good about it. Your brain releases endorphins (more on that topic here) and it will become easier to continue. It slowly becomes a daily habit and your natural inclination for variety will drive you to do more stuff over time.

I don’t recommend any sort of workout plan or system for fitness. Why, because what works for me, may (or may not) necessarily work for you. Everyone is different.

No matter how charismatic that exercise guru on your DVD sounds, don’t believe that someone else’s fitness plan will work for you. What you need is a natural and easy way to evolve into a fitness routine that works for your brain and body.

Any fitness routine that depends on willpower, will inevitably fail. Or worse, another part of your life will get affected when you divert willpower to fitness.

Routine

Construct some sort of scheduled routine for daily exercise. Join an organized team; exercise at around the same time everyday, or workout with a partner, friend, or spouse.

This will be the core to constructing a habit. Taking rest days between exercise days breaks up the pattern that creates habits. It becomes too easy to say today is a one of your non-exercise days, and maybe tomorrow too.

No Pain, No Gain

I’ve tried the ‘pushing yourself till you can’t’ system a few times. It has always failed for me (but maybe you’re different). For me, the ‘no pain, no gain’ system takes too much willpower. If I suck up willpower at the gym, I can barely resist binge eating after.

Secondly, this system puts additional stress on my body. My body is sore and debilitated. The soreness is like a penalty for exercising. When I had a penalty every time, it gave me a reason to stop and it was usually along the lines of “I’m too sore to workout today.”

I Don’t Feel Like Working Out

So how do you muster up the energy on those days where you just want to sit on the couch with a bowl of chocolate almonds and sloth out? The system that I found works best is setting a time frame.

On those days, I usually tell myself that in X amount of time, I will get up and go be active. I will allow myself to sloth out a little bit, but as the deadline to activity slowly approaches, I feel my energy begin to rise.

Another method that I have tried is putting on my workout clothes and going to the gym. When I’ve arrived at the gym, I usually do some form of activity because it would be a large waste of time otherwise.

Regardless of how you personally view fitness, the central point is to be deliberately active every single day. Being active is one of the essential maxims for good health – diet, being another maxim. Be active for your spouse and kids. But more importantly, be active for yourself.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

10 thoughts on “One Simple Fitness Principle

  1. Way back at the dawn of our species about 200,000 years ago, food was hard to get and poorly nourishing. People used up a ton of calories running around looking for food from sunup to sundown. They also ate nearly nonstop because of the low calorie value of the food. And, of course, because of all that running around, everyone was fit.

    Today, food is excessively plentiful and excessively nourishing. Most desk jockeys can get enough calories and nutrients from one cheese bagel with peanut butter and jam each day, if they supplement it with one Slim Jim per week for the amino acids. But our bodies haven’t adjusted to that, so we eat as if we were still eating the low-calorie tubers and raw squirrel meat of 200,000 years ago, and we get fat.

    And–you guessed it–our food is far too easy to obtain. There is no need to pick tubers out of the ground 16 hours a day or chase a fleeing ibex in groups for 20 miles before it falls over dead of exhaustion and you can butcher it. We just go to the grocery store, or the restaurant, or even the convenience store one block away. But, again, our bodies haven’t adjusted to the fact that we don’t need to be fit any more, so of course our lack of fitness leads to poor health and early death.

    Exercise for the sake of fitness and weight control is made necessary by our retrograde, reactionary and obstinately Luddite bodies, which, thanks to the glacial pace of evolution, will not have adjusted to today’s lifestyles even after another million years have passed, let alone the mere one-fifth of a million that have passed already.

    tl;dr my biggest obstacle to exercise and fitness and even weight control is knowing the things I’ve already told you. I’m a cerebral guy, so I’m too busy being p***ed off at the Pat-Buchananism of my body to want to do it any favors. Do you have any advice for me?

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    1. Firstly, sorry I have taken so long to respond to this. Truthfully speaking, this is one of the most insightful and intriguing comments that I’ve ever received. I took my time because I wanted to formulate a response that was of similar calibre to your comment.

      I do agree with the wealth of knowledge you have imparted about evolution, food acquirement, and our general need to consume mass amounts of calories. In regards to that comment, I’d like to say, ‘who cares?’ This isn’t to say that you are wrong in any way, shape, or form. You are absolutely right about all of the above. But in knowing the information, it hinders your ability to progress. In the similar respect, because war is ever prevalent in our past, should we just continue to let it happen?

      I feel like being active (in any capacity) is better for your body/brain than not being active, regardless of the millions of years of evolution. In that regard, one of the central ways to live healthily is being active. Even with the million of years of evolution, staying active has always been a constant factor. Aside from that, the importance of a healthy diet is integral. In my opinion, a healthy diet is 90% of living a healthy life. But very few are able to afford to eat vegan, gluten-free, etc.

      In terms of advice, I don’t know if anything I say will influence you in any way. In the end, diet, fitness, personal, relationship – and any other form of advice – will only work if you want to intrinsically use it. You mentioned that you are too pissed off at your body to do it any favours. I feel like that is the wrong attitude from the get go. Without your body, your brain will not function (unless you believe in quantum physics/metaphysical entities).

      The best advice I can give you – and also the simplest – is to get those thoughts out of your head and to push through. My unqualified advice dictates that you should be active everyday. I personally have benefited from that advice. Being grossly obese in my younger years, it had affected my mood and mental state. Being active has changed my life in more ways than one.

      I’ll end it with a quote by one of my personal favourites:
      “Do the thing and you will have the power” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

      For me, this quote is a constant reminder to cast away all negative thoughts, feelings, and actions that hinder my progress and jump head first into whatever I desire to do. For that is the only way to progress and obtain the power that Mr. Emerson refers too.

      I hope this helped. Thank you very very very much for the comment. I greatly appreciate the thought-provoken comment!

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  2. Thank you for following me! Keeping active is something I’ve been struggling with too. I think I have a set routine now, but I gotta make myself stick to it. Carpal tunnel has been frustrating and given me a whole new health problem to think about.

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    1. No problem! Your last article definitely earned the follow! Likewise, thank you for following me back! I hope my articles offer some advice and guidance to your life!

      The best way that I’ve found to stick to a routine is to build a habit around it. You have you dedicate time to it each and every day. The method I find best is making a daily to-do list. When I first started working out, that was on my to-do list. There is something incredibly satisfying crossing something off a list. Maybe try that method.

      In terms of your carpal tunnel, I recommend slow easy movements. Even something that doesn’t necessarily work your wrist. Try running, cycling, or jogging. As I mentioned, it isn’t about weights, it’s just about being active. Try soccer, or walking your dog (or hamster). Anything you do to be active will reinforce your habit!

      Thank you for your comment!

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      1. Thanks! I also hope my guides and writings will be of help and also bring smiles 🙂
        I am sort of making a habit of cycling, an indoors bike, which is good for those winter months 🙂 But yeah, I need to get my wrists in better shape. I know I spend a lot of time typing.

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  3. It is said that nice and easy does the trick. Your simplification of basic fitness principal is quite a revelation though it is actually the core of any fitness regimen. In the present age, I think we have a tendency to over-complicate things which many times leads to the results completely opposite to our intentions. People were healthy, in fact more healthy in past when the modern gym and health club facilities were not present.

    Your posts look quite interesting and I am looking forward to read all of them very soon. I would also like to thank you for following my blog aa I am new to blogging and writing and it means a lot to me and has encouraged me to carry on further. Thanks a Lot..!

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    1. You’re completely correct. It had existed as the core of any fitness regiment. But very few people realize it.

      As you mentioned, many tend to over complicate the process resulting in adverse affects or injuries. That is one of my goals as a writer. I consider myself a professional simplifier. My aim is to discover and reveal the core simple methods of everything that is life to hopefully impact someone’s life positively.

      You have a fantastic blog yourself. Thankyou for your comment, love and support!

      Like

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