Word Count: 568 NF Difficulty: Beginner
Life is too damn short.
You want to get in shape, but you hate the gym. You know running will help you lose weight, but you don’t even want to think about a 5k race. Some sites might tell you that there’s a perfect blueprint to fitness; there really isn’t. Sure there are certain essential characteristics of being ‘in shape’ (plenty of exercise and good diet) but life has so many variables that you can control just how and where you get that exercise. Find something that works for you.
Nerd alert – here’s a video game analogy. Some of you want to play FPS’s like Halo and Left 4 Dead. Others love to play Starcraft. You might be a World of Warcraft guy, or a Madden Football guy. You play what you like. Now, take a guy who loves Starcraft and force him to play Halo – not cool. Take that same guy and tell him playing Starcraft every day will make him healthier (it absolutely won’t, this is just an example), and he’ll have no problem doing what he’s told.
Back to the real world – if you hate running and force yourself to run 10 miles every day, you’re going to dread every minute of it – you’ll probably give up at the first opportunity. However, if you love running, it’s easy for you to get out there and do it every day because you actually enjoy it. Hell, if you’re really crazy, you could be like this guy and compete in Ultraman competitions – 6.2 miles of swiming, 260 miles of biking, and a 52.4 double marathon run. GOOD LORD.
Personally, I hate long-distance running. I hate it more than Eric Cartman hates Scott Tenerman. The thought of going out and running 10 miles right now bores the hell out of me and I’d do anything to avoid it. However, tell me we’re gonna go do an obstacle course, lift weights, or play some basketball and I’m all about it. Eventually I can’t wait to start practicing Capoeria (when I can afford it) and some Parkour (when I find a place to practice). Who knows, I might even make it onto Ninja Warrior some day.
There is no blueprint to fitness for everyone. The correct form of exercise is the one that gets you off your ass and moving. Basketball, running, biking, swimming, hiking, ultimate frisbee, kayaking, Wii Tennis, weight lifting, karate, surfing, Jazzersize, Tae bo, who cares! Whatever it is that makes you happy, as long as it gets you sweating and your heart pumping, do it. Obviously some exercises do burn more calories than others, but I’d rather spend an hour doing something I absolutely love than 30 minutes doing something I hate. It’s not worth it. Of course, you’re not going to look like Ryan Reynolds or Daniel Craig by jogging for 20 minutes a day, but if you’re just looking to get in shape and have more energy, start with the basics and have some fun with it.
Life is way too short to be stuck in a job you hate, hanging out with people you don’t like, and exercising in a way that doesn’t excite you. Try out everything, find what you love, find what makes you happy, and do as much of it as possible. Not only will you be happier, but I guarantee it will bump up your life expectancy as well.
What makes you happy?