No time? Listen to it instead
Fitness is one of the prime virtues of our time. If you talk to anyone successful or even worth your time, they’re more likely to tell you to focus on being fit in one way or the other. Yet, it is also the most confusing of all positive values a person can exhibit. There’s too much subjectivity. Is a person who hits the gym every day and looks a certain way fit? Or is it the marathon runner running past your house? You get the idea. Here’s how I solved this for myself.
For me, fitness has and will almost always be about climbing a flight of stairs. It’s an expression I use to talk about fitness in the general day. To reach that point, I first started running in ninth standard.
In 2016, I regularly sported a t-shirt that said: Things Workout, I Don't.— Nudge › How (@NudgeHow) October 22, 2020
In 2020, I know that things may not workout but I always can and I do.
Lesson: Never be proud of your ignorance, stupidity or weakness.
You may grow to embarrass yourself, in hindsight.
Then I lost any physical activity for the next few years. I was also oddly proud of myself for not working out, but apparently, I was just stupid (if not obnoxious). I did join the gym for a brief stint but found the environment too toxic for myself. I picked bodyweight exercises when I was in college.
Then I moved to Freeletics. I also played Football and Badminton once a week for the good part of the year along with that. Now, I say yes to anything that moves my body, but my workouts are still on Freeletics. I’ve added some weight training recently.
All that said, I try to walk a lot.
Most people get into becoming fitter because someone told or asked them to or when a significant health crisis strikes. That’s kind of the other way round, especially the latter. Then, they pick up some activity they don’t enjoy and leave the idea altogether.
Fred goes to the gym. Fred has gotten hotter. I’ll get hotter too if I go to the gym.
No. Don’t do that.
Instead of waiting for the crisis or being told to, or finding the thing that everyone is doing, understanding the infinitely long list of cliches that talk about being fit is the better way to go.
Consider: Your ancestors moved. You don’t. If you don’t, your body doesn’t build stuff it would if you moved. So, move.
Find Your Why
Finding why you want to become fitter is a catalyst in helping you choose what activity you’d probably enjoy.
If nothing else, it enables you to go through the inevitable discomfort.I
f you were anything like me when I started working out, the first time I did a Freeletics session, I couldn’t get out of bed the next morning.
It even hurt to move. Now, I can breeze through those workouts on most days. Well, that’s an overstatement, but you get the idea.
For me, the why is to live a longer life (ceteris paribus) and to be able to climb a flight of stairs and look good doing it.
I’m not kidding. That’s even my bio on the Freeletics app.
The first thing that you can probably guess from the story is this: try things. Most people look to fitness as a chore or a task or a duty that they have to do.
While recording an episode for Let’s Ask My Friends, it was pointed out to me that fitness should be fun, and that in turn makes it sustainable.
To find your definition of fitness, that you can sustain, you need to experiment and see what fits with the general context of your life and days.
The next thing is actually to do it. If you enjoy it, you won’t have much of an issue with that but still, building a habit can be challenging.
In that case, I have something I use a lot: start small. Irrespective of what you choose to do, try to find the minimum possible time you can do it in a day for, and then do it.
There’s not much to be said here besides that. If you’re reading this article, you’re looking to do it anyway. Find time, schedule it, and do it. Do your lifts, your bodyweight, your game of football once a week but do it.
Enjoying it and keeping it small are two ways you can form habits quickly.
Then, make it easy for yourself. If you’re running, keep your shoes near the door and ready before you sleep. If you do bodyweight exercises, keep your clothes on a stretched mat where you workout. You get the idea.
Most people who try to get fitter do it the wrong way. First, evaluate your “why”. Once you have your definition of fitness, you know why you’re trying what you’re trying. Keep doing that; keep trying different things. Once you find an activity that hits the sweet spot between that why and what you enjoy, you do it. If you enjoy it, you can do it long-term. Fitness is not rocket science.
If you liked this post, you’ll like the newsletter which also reminds you of the previous week’s post. Also, if you’re absolutely inclined, consider buying me a coffee to help support this website. Most important of all, please take care of yourself and those around you. These are trying times and I wish you all the health in the world.