Our bodies are a gift. The cliché of use it or lose it applies. If we don’t take care of the one body we’ve been given, our ability to use it will lessen. Though our bodies may not be quite like fine wine that gets better with time, we can certainly improve ourselves well into middle age and later while holding much of our capabilities deep into our lives. With obesity spreading like a virus throughout North America and other parts of the world, we see more and more the cost of giving up on fitness. One of the saddest parts of the Western World is we’ve never known more about how moderate exercise helps every aspect of our lives, yet the percentage of the population that is obese and is or will suffer from countless health issues which inevitably follow fatness grows. Physical Education programs at school seem to be in retreat. After school sports are disappearing. Basic fitness capabilities of the average person today are less at virtually all age levels than those of the past few generations. The inverse relationship between our population’s health and knowledge of health is concerning.
It may not seem like it when we’re younger, but however we treat our bodies will either pay dividends or cost us dearly in the future. If we develop daily diligence to expose ourselves to some form of exercise, our mobility will be enhanced for the better part of our adult lives. It’s not just our body that benefits from movement. Our brain and thinking is improved as well as our mood. If feels good to move. When you get up in the morning, an excellent way to shake the cobwebs loose is to shake your booty by doing some kind of exercise. Moving will help you start your day. When you’ve been sitting at your desk at school or work for a few hours and feel listless or groggy with fatigue, counter the urge to nap and get up to move about. Do a few air squats by your desk. Go for a walk down the stairs and back up again in your building. Take fifteen minutes to get outside for a walk. Do some push ups. Anything to move your blood. Moving will elevate your mood and reawaken you better than anything else.
We’re not talking extreme levels of fitness. We’re not chasing competition. We’re not trying to make it a full time job. Don’t worry about crushing cross-fit. You’re not obliged to do an Ironman. It’s not like you’re not a man until you’ve run a marathon. It’s not about how you stack up to others your age or decades younger. You don’t need to strive for success on Strava. Yes, you can be legit without a Fitbit. You don’t need to demand the right attire from a fitness clothing brand before you try a handstand. You don’t need to invest in anything to get started. You don’t need a trainer. You don’t need a program. You don’t need equipment. You don’t need the right shoes. You don’t need to spend thousands on a treadmill for home. You don’t need to spend many more thousands for the latest road bike. You don’t need to find that new martial arts gym that has the latest and greatest trainer or class. You don’t need the latest whiz bang biometric technology that records and tracks all kinds of measurements. You don’t need to hunt high and low, near and far, for the perfect activity. It’s not a shortcut you’re after. It’s a lifetime commitment to movement. There is no excuse. There is no barrier other than your willingness to do move.
We’re talking about doing something. Anything, some kind of exercise which you’ll do regularly. It’s a commitment to consistency over intensity we’re encouraging. Five minutes a day of something that you enjoy doing done daily is better than a expensive class at a fancy gym once or twice a year. To benefit from a physical practice you don’t need anything other than your own commitment. There’s no right way. There’s no right amount. You can be confident you’re doing the right stuff once you start to huff and puff. Doing something which allows you to keep coming back day after day is where the long term benefits arise.
The chapter details ten reasons why exercise matters. All of the reasons share the commonality that exercise helps you be the best that you can be. It makes your life more enjoyable. Moving, moves your blood. It strengthens your hearts, lungs, brain, and entire infrastructure (muscles, blood vessels, and bones). There is no part of your body that doesn’t benefit from exercise. Moreover, your mental state improves during and after exercise. You become simply a nicer person to be around. You enjoy your own company more. On top of all the physical and mental benefits, developing the discipline of exercise reinforces the idea that you matter and you are capable of making a difference positively to your development. It is one of the greatest tools available to help you make the most of yourself. We would offer it is second only to developing a strong sense of self-belief (Chapter One) to giving yourself a chance. If you want to give yourself the best chance to succeed at whatever it is in life in which you’re interested, a lifelong commitment to exercise will help you get there.
Our primary goal is to foster a fetish for fitness. Internalize the mantra of MMF or Move Mother, you get the idea.