“We don’t stop exercising because we grow old, we grow old because we stop exercising”
You do not need an intense exercise program to look good or be well
Why Activity? Why not Exercise?
While I am an avid runner and have always kept generally fit my journey has actually taught me to use my time more effectively and examine why and when I run. So for the sake of ‘being well’ we should not be discussing extreme exercise plans – i.e. your hour a day at the gym six days a week – in fact this is almost certainly not doing you any favors.
As with all parts of your journey your personal starting point counts. If you are “sick” now – i.e. overweight, not sleeping well, or actually sick – then hard exercise, such as competing a long race, while admirable on one hand is actually counterproductive. Imagine for a moment you own a car and then engine is broken, you don’t take it for a long drive and expect it to fix itself. Fix your engine first through sleep, diet, mindfulness and alike and then attempt the race if you still want the challenge
An activity program or exercise plan is a part of a complete wellness program and while many (including me) find running, walking, swimming or their chosen past time to be therapeutic beyond fitness your exercise program will not replace the need for spiritual and mental wellness elements, sleep and diet – not to mention sunlight and grounding.
Likewise I would encourage you to look at where your training or sport is taking you (and what happens if/when you stop?) – particularly if it has high injury risks and or may involve ‘bulking up’. Not to say I have anything against these sports (many would critique running for its potential of long term injury) but if you have ‘bulked up’ what are the costs (time and money) involved in maintaining your physique and what happens in a year… or five years?
Non impact sports are certainly better for long-term wellness –
Being Active Quick Tips
Besides planned times for exercise try these –
- Walk up the stairs – avoid escalators or moving walkways
- If you work at a desk/computer have a five minute walk every hour
- Walk, bike or run to or from work if it’s safe and practical to do so
- Have meetings outside standing up (and get some sun if you can)
- Use a stand-up desk
- Get dropped off 1km from your destination and walk the last part
Workouts that work
My journey lead me to Eccentric Workouts
Try and stay out of fake light, working-out outside (in the sun if possible)
The Importance of Rest & Recovery
Even if you compete, rest and recovery are essential parts of an exercise or activity program. I used to think a day off was a big deal or would ‘cost me’. I am now a little wiser.
Rest and recovery actually make you fitter in the long run, reduce the risk of injury and allow you re-charge mentally. Being fully rested also allows more focused and higher intensity training when you do work out.
Consider as part of your recovery program –
- Hot or cold compression
Fueling and Hydration
Gatorade and Gels: If you look a the shopping section of the diet page apply the same rules – gels and sports drinks are all full of sugar and should be avoided. You simply don’t need them – the advertisers have just convinced you, you do. I run in the tropics in humid weather (25c +) usually for 60-90 minutes and usually without any form of hydration – I drink if I’m thirsty (this is a practice I have built up to over time and I suggest you plan your own training according to your needs and make adjustments slowly- see disclaimer). Water is great for hydration and thirst is a great indicator of when you need to drink.
Fuels to Use
- Coconut water – some value beyond plain water
- Bullet proof coffee or a version of it
- Make your own fuel