Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

Physical Exercise Will Improve Your Whole Life

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Exercise is good for you. While that is obvious to most everyone, a majority of the population doesn’t exercise on a regular basis. If you don’t exercise regularly you should start – today.

Why aren’t more people exercising? Below are just a few excuses I’ve heard or read:

  1. I don’t have the time. NO TIME
  2. I’m too tired after work. NO ENERGY
  3. I travel a great deal so there is no place to exercise. NO SPACE
  4. I can’t afford a gym membership or equipment. NO MONEY
  5.  My family comes before my own personal needs. NO COMMITMENT TO SELF

No Time

All a person needs is about 20 minutes a day to exercise . That’s obviously the minimum amount but that should be enough to muscles strong and the heart and lungs in good shape if done on a regular basis. What makes this excuse completely invalid is that exercise actually makes you more efficient and productive in your daily life. You can work faster and produce better results which ends up freeing more time than you use to exercise. When you are not as fit, you tend to burn out more easily and make mistakes more often. To clarify: Free Time is a byproduct of exercise

No Energy

I know this excuse well because I’ve used it several times myself. After coming home from a tough day at work I would find myself so fatigued that I couldn’t bear the thought of working out. It took me years to realize that it wasn’t work that was causing the fatigue, it was lack of exercise.

Before I entered the business world, I was a construction worker. I would work 8-10 hours a day doing tough physical labor. However, I don’t recall being as fatigued after work as I would after working in an office. It took me a long time to realize that I needed physical activity to counter fatigue.

Even when your energy level is at its lowest, you can always do a 5 minute, low level exercise to get you started. That’s a trick I play on myself. When I don’t have energy I commit to a simple five minutes on the treadmill. What often happens is 5 minutes turns into 10 or 20 or 30. Getting started is half the battle.

No Space

The picture in this post is of an adjustable dumbbell I purchased because I know had the room for a complete set of weights. I’ve also used resistance bands which can be thrown into a suitcase. For cardio, nothing beats walking or calisthenics. There are an unlimited number of exercises that can be done with no equipment at all.

The average home is not conducive to physical exercise which is why most people associate exercise with a gym membership. For many people, including myself, going to the gym is just too time consuming. You have the get your gear together, drive or commute to the gym and then hope the equipment you plan on using is not being used. Don’t get me wrong, for many and maybe most people, a gym works for even busy schedules. The point I’m trying to make is that one should use lack of a gym as reason not to exercise.

If you can’t go to the gym, bring the gym to you. Make your home a gym. Before I bought my home, I lived in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment but I made it work as a place to exercise. I had to lug my weights into the kitchen because our bedroom was just too small. I used a step to do cardio. It was a tight fit but not exercising was not an option, it never is. If I had to choose between exercise equipment and furniture, the furniture would be the first to go. I’m not going to look back and be thankful for all those hours I spent lounging on recliner.

Travelling is rarely an excuse. Airports are big enough to get a good walk in. Hotels have gyms. Every hotel or motel room I’ve ever been in has had enough room for me to exercise and I’ve been in some really cheap rooms. If you travel on business it is usually to a city and cities have sidewalks and parks just made for walking.

No Money

Exercise equipment and gyms cost money, exercise is free. I’ve been dirt poor with barely enough money to pay for a room, yet I managed to use the cheapest used equipment I could find or no equipment at all. Quite often people would give away equipment just to make room in their garage. If you put the word out that you are looking for equipment, you will get what you need eventually.

No Commitment to Self

There are those who claim to sacrifice everything for their families. They feel it would be selfish to spend time exercising when they need to be there for their children or spouse. However they risk becoming a burden on their family. In the long run they risk illness and even an early death.

I would give anything to spend more time with my mother who passed away due to poor health. Like other martyrs, she devoted all her time to her family and did very little to stay healthy. It was only late in life that she realized that damage that she had done and made an effort to get healthy. It was too late. She didn’t get to attend my wedding or see the birth of my daughter Emma. She also left my father who battled depression and loneliness for years.

If you are committed to your family than you need to also commit to staying healthy so you can be there for them for as long as you can.

Get Started Today

People will often set a date to start exercising. It may be after they get a break from work or when their child goes back to school. The problem is something else always comes up or you lose interest. The best time to start an exercise routine is today. I searched the web for “no equipment workout” and Google returned 3,890,000 results. Below are a couple that I found:

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/tipsandtricks/a/basictraining.htm

http://exercise.about.com/od/homecardioworkouts/Home_Cardio_Workouts.htm

Many beginner workout articles will ask that you consult a doctor before starting any new workout routine. That is sound advice and if you have any concerns about your health that is something you definitely should do. Even if you have no noticeable issues you should schedule a checkup if you haven’t been to the doctors recently. Being over 40 I had a checkup recently just to be sure even though I had already been exercising on a regular basis.

Get Educated About Physical Fitness

The more you know about physical fitness the greater likelihood that you make it a part of your life. If you can’t seem to find the motivation to get started, reading about it can help get you off the couch. There is so much free information on the web that it is no longer necessary to pay for fitness advice. You may want to start with a book from a reliable source that covers the basics like ACSM’s Complete Guide to Fitness & Health. This will give you a good foundation from which to consider the advice of others.

I’m Not a “Health Nut”

I want to clarify that I’m not a health nut. I don’t have that annoying attitude where I think I am better than other people who don’t exercise and eat right. There is nothing special about people who have figured out the secret of exercise. They aren’t more disciplined. It doesn’t take discipline to do something that makes you feel good and provides a number of great benefits. I was fortunate enough to have been given the right kind of fitness advice when I was about 18. Before that, it was poverty and a lack of an automobile that kept me slim and fit.

Once I started working out, the benefits became obvious. I felt light on my feet and I found I could do a lot more than I did before. It didn’t hurt that members of the opposite sex appreciated my efforts. At heart, I’m a bit of a bookworm, not a jock. I don’t get into sports – I couldn’t care less about the fate of a spherical object on a field. I wouldn’t run a marathon unless I was paid well to do so. Run 26 miles to feel good about myself? How about I feel good about myself without the excessive feat of physical stamina?

Being fit is not about running marathons or playing sports but you need to be fit to do well in either. I admire the people who demonstrate the potential of the human body for it inspires us mere humans to reach for our own levels of physical excellence. There may come a day when I decide to run a half marathon as a way to challenge myself and inspire those I care about. I may as well forget about most other kinds of sport due to the fact that I tend to duck when objects are thrown at me – much to the chagrin of the Little League coach when I was a boy.

Physical Fitness And Self Esteem

Try not to associate your level of physical health with your feeling of self worth. It is definitely a boost to the self esteem, but I believe a person can be obese, handicapped, old or all of the above and still be confident and proud. If you associate physical fitness with self worth, the first time you fall out of the habit, the pain of failure may prevent you from trying again. There are many great, intelligent people in this world that have a little more cushion in the middle than they should, but that doesn’t negate their value to society.

On the other hand, being physically fit will help you feel better about yourself. When you are in control of your weight and your body you may gain the confidence needed to gain control of other areas of your life. While it is wrong to judge a book by its cover, it is still true that people tend to like fit people more. Being out of shape is a disadvantage in the job market and in social situations so in a tough world you need all the help you can get.

Let physical fitness be just one aspect of your success. Let it be that part of your life that helps make the other parts easier to manage. Being strong on the outside is the result of being strong on the inside first.

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Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

January 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I am truly a different person when I do not exercise. The change is noticeable and it is not good. I am far from a health nut but I have done a lot of experimenting. One of the best programs I can recommend (because it is absolutely free) is the 100 push up program. I think that the push up may be the single best exercise one can do. Even if you can only do one push up, this program can help you. It is free and it does not take much time at all:

    http://hundredpushups.com/

    Manage Better Now

    January 20, 2012 at 8:06 am

    • I’m currently doing the 100 pull ups program. I’m kidding – I don’t know if that is humanly possible. I like the idea of trying for 100 push ups because while it would be a challenge it is still within reason.

      Tim Thinkauthor

      January 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm


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