An old friend tweeted me yesterday complimenting me on my blog (so somebody beside me DOES read it! WOO HOO) and asked for my advice on getting back into shape. Well, that got me thinking....what advice can I give him? I'm not what you'd call a "fitness expert" but I am in pretty decent shape for an old man. And since he hasn't yet responded to my tweet back about getting together for lunch to discuss his request and "catch up", I thought it might actually make a good blog topic. Besides, I'm like WAY overdue in posting (and that's NEVER because I don't have enough to say).
I've always said that my ADD is both a blessing and a curse. The "blessing" part is that I have always been hard-wired to be active. But I'm certainly not even close to immune to motivation problems and burnout. Over the years, I have always fallen back on three principles which have kept me pretty fit most of the time. And, aside from passing lip service, none of these has been stressed by any "fitness experts" with whom I've become familiar. They seem to focus on regimen, technique and form. And rightfully so. But I talk to so many people who just simply cannot stand to work out. So that's got to tell you a little something about where our minds are on this topic.
- Find an activity you love. In anything you do in life, you "purpose" is the cornerstone of results. It's also the most elusive element. Everyone wants to be in "better shape". But I really haven't seen that being in better shape is much of a reason unto itself. I love to ride my bike....far. But cycling is nowhere close to the only thing I do for fitness. My desire to enjoy the long rides (enjoyment is directly related to fitness & preparation) serves as a huge motivator to hit the gym at 5am for weight workouts and all sorts of other non-cycling cardio workouts. I'm far more apt to stick with a workout plan if I know that it's making me better at something I enjoy. So what's your thing? Spend some time on this one. Whatever you come up with, I promise you'll love it more by improving your level of fitness.
- Let go of the results. Nike was really onto something with their "Just Do It" campaign. And my 400 mile, multi-state cycling adventures started 5 years ago with getting a bike I just rode around the neighborhood. But, I'll go one better: if you simply concentrate on getting to the gym consistently, that's MORE than 90% of the battle. Seriously, don't even do anything when you get there. Just walk around. Eventually, you're gonna get a little curious & try something out. Then, you'll think, "hell as long as I'm here....". I can see your eyes rolling as you read this! But this is the exact technique I've used on and off for 20-some years to get myself out of workout ruts. It wasn't until I started thumbing my nose at results that I started consistently & sustainably staying fit. I average a couple times a month going to the gym walking around for 5 minutes & saying "fuhgetaboutit"...I go home. A couple times, I didn't even get out of the car. But I DID get there.
- What you consume is at least as important as what you do. What? You want me to wax analogous & cliche on trying to operate a car with watered down fuel & bad oil....or ask you, "if you owned a racehorse, would you feed it half the crap you eat"? Or, are you just gonna take my word for it here? I'm just gonna say here that, look at my Twitter or Facebook profile and feeds, or talk to anyone who knows me & you'll see that I'm the biggest fan of crappy foods you know. I'm the self appointed KING of pork fat! Getting the proper fuel is NOT about dieting or living a strict lifestyle of "don't". I'll just say 2 things: 1.) Everything in moderation, including moderation. and 2.) You are what you consume, so make room for some good stuff!
Do my ideas seem silly or ridiculously simple? They are! Are you as "in shape" as you want to be? If so, just ignore this post. But if not.......