Exercise is a bit of a touchy subject for me at times. We have a love-hate relationship; I hate getting up early, and feeling sweaty and/or smelly, but I love that moment when the endorphins kick in and you feel completely badass. You think Red Bull gives you wings? Try back-to-back games of netball. Or cross fit. Or a spin class. Or yoga (I WISH I was more bendy!). The point is; as much as exercise has some sucky aspects to it (ugh, slimy sweat), its bloody good for you and can be very enjoyable and effective, provided you pick your method right.
If you have an instagram, twitter or Facebook account, you must be aware of the ongoing wellness bandwagon that almost the entire developed world has jumped on. Its been roaming around for quite a while now, but with each passing year the momentum is set to increase; with obesity levels, diabetes, heart disease and general poor lifestyle habits at an all-time high, pretty much around the world, its no wonder that we’ve all become a little bit obsessed with trying to be healthy.
The problem that most people seem to have, in my humble opinion, is not knowing where to start. We have so much advice thrown at us on a daily basis that its hard to know who to believe or put our faith in. So I’m going to tell you something that is going to seem so cliche, however is still completely true;
Do what’s right for you, your body, and your lifestyle.
Comparing yourself to anyone else, no matter how aspirational you find them, is a recipe for disaster. Not a single person on this planet shares the same genes/lifestyle/goals/genetics/preferences as you, and so it would be ridiculous to think that your journey should be the same as anyone else’s. Or that your results will be the same as anyone else’s.
There are so many books on healthy living, exercise ebooks, recipe books, wellness ‘gurus’ out there who tell you that their way of living is the ONLY way to achieve ‘perfection’ or ‘progress’, and I’m here to tell you that its all a Big Fat Lie. There is no one ‘correct’ way to be healthy, nor no single ‘best’ form of exercise. What there are is options;
If you are time-poor, and want maximum results (or if you hate long workouts and like circuit training); try HIIT workouts.
If you prefer longer exercise sessions, or exercises that are more gentle on your joints, try yoga, walking, or swimming.
If you have the time to spare, or the inclination, you could even try ultra-marathon-ironman training.
And if you pick that last option, I will politely decline being your workout buddy, haha.
Personally, I don’t really have a preferred method of exercise, so I do a little bit of everything. I am a genuine believer in pursuing exercise that feels good for your body, regardless of what burns the most calories, or is the most ‘impressive’ or supposedly good for you based on advice from Whatsherface.
Picking an exercise that you genuinely enjoy and can envision making a part of your routine for the rest of your life is the best way to go about it; because if you want to achieve lasting change in yourself and your fitness levels, you do need to commit and do just that; make it a part of your daily life.
So as much as step counters are useful, or fitness monitors are a nifty gadget to have, stop focusing on the numbers, the hours, the details. Focus instead on being active, plain and simple. Think of it as not ‘exercise’ but instead as simply living an active life. I assure you, that is the easiest, most enjoyable, and thus BEST way to get in your daily activity.