We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Do many adult humans reveal, in their behavior, a preference for a life with minimal exertion? Some days I feel that preference, some days I don't. That's why I need to apply some force to myself to consistently measure up to my expectations. I don't know about you, but I tend to despise myself when I disappoint myself, make excuses for myself, or rationalize. That's the Yankee way, harsh conscience and a reasonable dose of self-contempt.
People vary a lot in their innate energy and vitality, but I do know that hard exercise increases them for everybody. I'll offer readers a tip: Just Do It. Some mornings at 4:15 I feel "too tired" to face a hard workout at 5. After a cup of covfefe or two while checking Drudge, and then a 5-10 minute warm-up, I'm ready to challenge myself for 60 or 80 minutes. Another tip: An exercise partner or a trainer to push you is a yuge help. I can always do more with a bit of encouragement. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak...and vice-versa.
If you are considering making a commitment to exercise (which I prefer to term "exertion" because "exercise" can mean anything other than sleeping or sitting, while exertion implies pushing the limits to stress, discomfort and sometimes pain), the first step is to define one's goals. The goal(s) determine the path.
Common exercise goals include the following:
- Weight loss - Looking better and/or sexier - Cardio fitness (or rehab) - Health and mental health - Activity as an alternative to drugs, alcohol, and food issues - Muscle "toning" (it's a chick thing, meaning not flabby) - Training for a specific sport or activity - Body-building (muscle bulk for guys) - Power lifting (focus on building physical power/prowess) - General conditioning (getting in better shape for sports and recreation, and maintaining full functionality with a decent physical presentation without clothing)
I'll take Weight Loss off the list, because the only exertion for that is using your right arm to stop your left arm from opening the door of the ice-box.
Each goal requires a different approach. Our fitness posts on Maggie's are all oriented around General Conditioning for Life because it is what we know something about.
More below the fold -
General Conditioning entails bits and pieces of most of the listed goals except for Body Building and specific sport training. What we aim for are these things:
Energy, vitality, physicality, and, ideally, a thirst for an active, adventurous, and strenuous life Positive mental attitude with anxiety-reduction Fit and healthy levels of body fat, good appearance Total body muscle development and maintenance Speed and endurance Agility, balance, posture, and athleticism Slowing the deterioration of age
That's why the Maggie's program is structured as it is with 2 days of weights (including power lifts), 2 days of calisthenics, and 2 days of HIIT and endurance cardio. It is difficult and unpleasant, your body burns and aches, you want to quit and the discipline is serious. All worth it, though, after a year or three.
Except for the calis classes or routines, it works best if you keep a record of progress with weights, sprints, and speeds of endurance work. It's gratifying to see improvement. Put it on a graph.