I am a firm believer that everything in life is about perspective (and definition). This thought also applies to exercise. A person’s perspective on exercise will determine how they approach, mange, execute, and recover from it; ultimately their “success” or “failure” as well (that is where definition comes in – success and failure is relative and subjective).

As with most things exercise is a mental issue. You have to deal with the mental issues before you can deal with the physical part.

My perspective on exercise:

Exercise is not a tool to get you or make you thin (skinny, lean, etc). Exercise can help your body to be insulin sensitive, so your body can put nutrients in to your cells for fuel. Exercise can help your body build muscle so you can move through your days, even as you age. Exercise can help your body to maintain bone density so you do not break a bone under load or force, even as you age. The right types of exercise can help your body maintain good cardiovascular and metabolic health. Exercise is a tool to help you be healthy; a healthy body will result in a non-fat body (I will not say “lean” because again my definition of lean may not be yours.)

Exercise will not create an environment to which you can eat whatever or however much you want to (aka: I will eat this and exercise it away later). You cannot exercise away a poor diet. The biochemical responses within the body from a poor food choice occur and the consequences are done to the body regardless of if you choose subsequently exercise.

More exercise is not better for you, it is just more. It is important to find how much of the right types (see below) of exercise will make you and keep you healthy. Who really wants to exercise hours per day?! If someone tells you that….they are delusional! They think that because that is what they think they have to do to look they way they do so they will be happy. Most people will tell you, if they could be not fat and feel good by not exercising then they would not exercise. Also, sometimes in certain cases less exercise is the right thing for a person to do to be healthier and fit.

Right types of exercise for optimal health and longevity:

It is my researched opinion, that lots of walking per day, lifting heavy weights 2 – 4 times per week, and opposite days of 1 -2 days of HIIT training or sprints for approximately 10 – 15 minutes is all it takes to have optimal health and longevity from exercise (not talking food here, but food is an uber-important component too).

When I say walk a lot – I mean walk as much as you can each day. This will change from day to day and from person to person. The more you can get in the better.

When I say lift heavy weights – I mean as heavy as you can lift with proper form (http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/) or (http://jassafit.com/). I will likely elaborate on this subject more in a separate post. I like an every other day regime for lifting, so it will give the body time to rebuild and recover from the lifting sessions (example: Mon., Wed., Fri. or Tues., Thurs., Sat.)

When I say HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or sprints – I mean your “all out effort” at the activity. You can do this by running/sprinting that is….jump rope, row machine, bike, stairs, etc. Fast bursts of all out effort followed by slow recovery time till you can do it again. The slow down time in between all out efforts will get shorter and shorter over time as you gain conditioning. I like to start with once per week, every 7 days; if you are feeling good and energetic after your walking and lifting and can easily do another day, do it. If you are too tired and can only do once, that is ok. If you do this consistently over time you will see great fat burning results. Please note: in this case – MORE IS NOT BETTER.

If you do not walk out of the gym feeling better than you did when you walked in; with energy, you might want to rethink your workout program and or assess your food choices.

My general exercise perspectives:

Everyone has to start somewhere. Start where you are, 10 or 15 minutes is better than none. Be consistent; you will not get lasting results being inconsistent. If you miss a step – no worries – start right back up like nothing ever happened; each day is a new opportunity. Do not worry about the other people in they gym – they are not worried about you. They are too concerned about themselves to notice if you have a jiggle or whatever you are worried about them noticing. Fat, unhealthy people belong in the gym! There are trainers in there to help you figure out what each machine does in there….ask for help.  Do not compare yourself with others; you have no idea what their story really is. Everyone’s journey is different. Do not put yourself in a box, there are too many limitations in there. Cut yourself some slack no one is perfect, but do not give yourself excuses or justifications. Make your exercise “you time”, the healthier you are the better you will be for your life and for those in it. Take the “you time” to meditate, think, workout stress, workout worries, and take out your frustrations physically. All of your life will still be out there in 30 – 60 minutes…it can wait.

I could go on and on…but I’m going to make myself stop before everything turns into a bumper sticker…..

If your perspective is outta whack – message me or leave a comment on this post – I am happy to talk you.