Saturday, March 23, 2013


There is a saying that, "Until you can accept and care about yourself, you won't value your time".  I agree with that, it's a very powerful statement.  The greatest treasure and the one that is limited for everyone is time.  There is another powerful saying that, "The greatest tragedy, in life, is not realizing how valuable our time is till it's running out".  Those statements are very much connected to person thinking about getting into 'shape'.    Although an irony of it all is that the sooner you make the decision, that you are worth the effort, then the sooner you can begin the journey.  The journey that can give you not only more time but give you the energy and health to make the most of that time.  But the longer you wait the more difficult that path becomes.

The first step is to make that decision, you and only you can make.  Other people can tell you but until you, not think but know that you are worth the effort, it will never be successful.  It will always be an exercise in starting and stopping, trying and giving up.  But once you do commit and begin your own journey then you and your whole way of seeing yourself and the world around you is changed forever.

Just as important as that first step being in front of the mirror, making a commitment to you, the second step should be in front of your family asking for their support.  Your decision will affect those around you and if you can secure their support then you will have an easier time of it.  The third step should be at the local running specialty store.  Starting with the right shoe will save you bunches, you just can't imagine.  There is no way of knowing how many people started on their journey only to be stopped cold by a shoe related injury.  See the problem is that as shoes have evolved they have made it vital to get the proper type for your foot and gait.  The wrong shoe can multiply minor foot and gait problems.

Now having said all that, your new journey should begin at a slow and controlled pace.  Walk to become stronger and start changing your body into that of an athlete.  I firmly believe that when as an adult you decide to start getting into better shape, that you should begin with walking.  When you can walk briskly and strongly then you can think about going the next step.  A body that has been strengthened with walking is better prepared to handle the rigors of more intense exercising.  That next step can be running, biking or my sport, race walking.  However there is nothing wrong with stopping right there and simply walking briskly for several days a week.  The health benefits are accomplished with the walking and it gives you increased energy for living.  But it's the nature of us that when we start feeling stronger we want to test our limits.

The best advice that I have to give is to choose wisely.  Pick a more challenging activity that will fit your current abilities and also your lifestyle.  Your main activity should be the sport activity you have chosen, next should be a flexibility routine like stretching, yoga or Pilate's.  I advise those second because if you can only find the time for them a couple of days a week you won't be sore for days after.  For an active lifestyle to be a lifestyle that you can live with it needs to be fun and feel good.
Weight training is great for rehabbing an injury or correcting a strength imbalance and it's a fine exercise routine on it's own.  Weight training is not something that can be done just ever once in a while, for it to be effective it needs to be regular.  The same applies to the new super exercise routines like 'Insanity' and 'Cross fit'.  They need to be done regularly or all they will do is make you too sore, for a while, to do your regular activity.  The older you get the more this advice applies.

Our time is limited and valuable, it's worth the effort to both increase the time we have and our energy to live it fully.  But we need to do it wisely and safely to get the full measure of it.

Thanks for reading.


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