7 Tips For a Lifetime of Fitness
There’s a major misconception about fitness. Your greatest fitness challenge isn’t getting fit. Your greatest challenge is staying fit.
“While it’s not necessarily easy to become fit, there’s nothing special about anyone who becomes fit.”
Think about that. Anyone can become fit. Anyone.
Sure, it does take discipline with diet and exercise, but it can be done. But the misconception now begins…because fitness isn’t something to achieve. Fitness is something to sustain.
Your fitness isn’t a sprint. Nor is it a marathon. It’s your life. It has no start, halfway point, or finish. It simply is. And while reaching and accomplishing physical goals is praiseworthy, life is actually more than losing weight or hitting new personal records in the gym.
Because what good are those “gainz” if in less than a year or two or three… you gain the weight back (and often more) and/or fall back into old and destructive lifestyle habits (pertaining to diet and fitness)? Your progress was…temporary.
So how can you ensure your fitness path is one promoting lifetime sustainability and more likely to ensure your quality of life as long as possible?
1. Embrace Imperfection in Your Diet.
Are you planning to live a perfect dietary life forever? Didn’t think so. So you might as well get started on learning how your body responds to a more healthy, albeit imperfect, approach. Weighing and measuring your food is quite simply NOT sustainable. Nor is eating without “cheats” sustainable.
2. Remember You’re Not Going Pro.
Nobody cares what your personal bests/records are. Endlessly pursuing record-breaking lifts will ultimately end in something broken…your body. There are plenty of ways to challenge yourself without constantly increasing the poundage.
A few recommendations: shorter rest, higher volume, greater emphasis on mind-muscle connection, technique work, new/unfamiliar exercises
3. You Only Get One Body, So Listen to It!
Lucky for you, your body has a warning system. The first warning is “discomfort.” If discomfort is ignored usually minor injury follows. If ignored, a minor injury can lead to a major injury.
Take care of your body, that bad wrist, shoulder, knee or back…you’re going to have to live with it for the rest of your life. Taking “one step back” for a few days or weeks is much more beneficial long term than being forced to stop training due to injury for weeks, months, or developing a lifelong nagging injury/bodypart.
4. Avoid Relying Upon Temporary/artificial Means.
Taking steroids, fat burners, testosterone boosters…you’re not going to learn how your body responds when you’re NOT on them. Trade short-term gratification for the long-term gratification that comes from learning from a diet and fitness journey that teaches you the tools you will need for a lifetime. These “shortcuts” do have physical, mental, and long-term costs.
5. Develop the Inner Strength to Resist Pressure.
Drinking excessively with your buddies can be fun, eating dessert is obviously gratifying, and skipping training for a date with the TV is a lifestyle easy to succumb to. But the choice is yours. Learn to say “No,” and learn to not give a fuck what someone else thinks. It’s your life, and you’re the one that lives with your decisions.
6. Take Responsibility for Your Education Regarding Health and Fitness.
Don’t know what to do in the gym or unsure about diet? Hire a qualified trainer to get you started, ask a friend who has the experience, or searches the Internet for websites, forums, or instructional videos! The Internet is the world’s best library card. You will certainly have to filter out what information is solid and what isn’t, but take that step of responsibility for your body.
7. Realize Your Fitness Is a Neverending Effort.
In life, change is constant. Your routine, work, family, responsibilities, what your body responds to, food intolerances, health challenges…your life will not be the same from year to year. While you can expect to learn much about what works for your body through your education and efforts, your pursuit of health and fitness will never be over!
Change with the times. Become a lifelong learner and take responsibility for your body, fitness, health, and future.
It makes sense to view fitness from a view of sustainability. However, our culture is instead bombarded with more of the message of how to achieve fitness (temporarily). With these seven tips you have a start on your path and remember:
“Your greatest fitness challenge isn’t getting fit. Your greatest challenge is staying fit.”