Master the Basics
Rome wasn’t built in a day
But they were laying bricks every hour. This isn’t one of those articles where you keep scrolling and scrolling and never get to the secret. That being said, if you are truly impatient just skip down to Keep it Simple.
We live in a day and age where everything is instant. We go online and buy something – it’s here the next day. We send a text – it immediately reads “delivered/read.” Fitness, exercise, and more importantly, results, aren’t so fast. I should say, some of the benefits you do immediately feel – the rush of endorphin’s, adrenaline and the feeling of satisfaction absolutely.
The first week of the new year is over. We tend to throw ourselves into something new (like new year resolutions) with enthusiasm and energy only to have it wear off with a quickness. Why? We feel we do not see results fast enough and become frustrated. It isn’t difficult to start – the struggle is staying consistent.
No, you do not need to be so connected all of the time. We spend so much time trying to stay “dialed in” that we neglect ourselves without ever knowing it. Taking time out for ourselves is crucial. Instead of calling it fitness we should call it “basic self preservation.” Long term results take time and patience, perserverance and hardwork. Keeping the momentum going doesn’t have to be difficult. Learn to simplify. Put the phone away, after you read this of course, focus, and learn to master the basics.
Stat: According to SocialMediaToday in 2017, “the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime.”
Think about that one.
Keep it Simple
Stretch: You will thank yourself sooner rather than later.
More often than not we find ourselves sitting or standing for long periods of time. We get locked in certain positions that are unnatural. Our muscles become tight, and we over-compensate, putting stress and tension on other muscle groups. Oh, the vicious cycle.
Yes, stretching is exercise and the body responds, rather quickly, to little changes such as stretching for 10 – 12 minutes everyday. In a good way. The two basic types:
Just move: Seriously, get up and move. According to the WHO “The term “physical activity” should not be confused with exercise, which is a subcategory of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and aims to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness.” Take a flight of steps instead of the elevator. Here’s a novel idea – leave the car at home and walk to the store (you’ll buy less too.) Get up from you’re desk once an hour and do 25 push ups.
“Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates
Using body weight can be extremely effective for building strength as well as increasing flexibility. Body weight exercises force not only the primary muscle groups to activate, but secondary as well. In other words, you get some bang for you’re buck with each exercise. Want to show up all those knuckleheads in the gym? Walk in and do 25 unassisted pull ups – then start you’re workout.
Concentrate on good form: Proper form prevents imbalances and helps with symmetry, a hallmark of good training. Concentrate on slow, steady, controlled movements. Have a method to you’re madness. Focus. “Where you’re headed is more important than how fast you’re going.”
The Big Three: Often times we train what we like and skip other muscle groups. Mastering compound exercise such as the Deadlift, Squat, and Bench Press almost ensures that you are targeting as many groups as you can at once. Master these moves well, and in no time you will begin to hear, “Do you work out?
Lighter Weight/Higher Reps: Before your “bro” convinces you to go big or go home, go old school and start low and work your way up. “Low” weight doesn’t necessarily mean whimpy weight. It can mean 12 – 15 reps at 75% of your one rep max. Whack-a-doodle workouts and over complicated routines lead to burn out.
Starting, and maintaining, regular physical activity leads to:
- Better Sleep
- The Feeling of Well Being
- The Feeling of Accomplishment
- Increased Strength and Flexibility
Basics we need to live healthier, happier, more productive lives.
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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle