Year To Success

Lesson 32: Fitness Basics

“Please don’t tell me I have to do sit-ups to be successful!” you may be saying after reading the title. Short answer, no. Crunches, leg-lifts, and other ab exercises will do just fine. :) For the long answer, read on.

The mind, body, and spirit are all connected. This is a fact that is widely recognized by both doctors and scientists around the globe. It is said that your outside (body) is a reflection of your inside (mind). By no means must you become an Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jane Fonda to be fit. Although being fit can mean something different to everyone, I like to define fitness as the state in which your body and mind function at your optimal levels. Being fit is not difficult. It can take as little as 20 minutes a day, three days a week.

Here are my top reasons to commit to a regular exercise program and commit to be fit.

  • More energy. Expending energy creates more energy. Morning workouts allow you to go through your day with a natural high, caffeine-free energy, and alertness.
  • Reduce your risk of getting heart disease. Heart disease is the number one “cause” of death in the USA (actually heart disease is the result of a lack of exercise, a poor diet, bad genes, and other unknowns—so these are the actual cause of death).
  • Manage stress effectively. Exercise is perhaps the #1 doctor recommended stress management tool. Regular workouts make it difficult to build up stress and tension.
  • Longevity. Live a longer, healthier life by protecting your body against many forms of disease, which would otherwise severely lower your quality and/or duration of life.
  • Improved brain function. Get that extra advantage by thinking more clearly.
  • Better social life. People are attracted to fit people for the same reason people are attracted to positive people. Being fit is just an attractive quality.
  • Improved self-esteem. If you are one of those people who look in the mirror with disgust, realize that 1) you are probably being too hard on yourself and 2) you can do something about your appearance. Fitness is one of the ways to improve your self-esteem from the outside in.
  • Reduced sickness. Strengthen your immune system by keeping fit and avoid spreading sickness to your loved ones. Reduce the time spent sick in bed and increase the time spent doing what you really want.

General fitness can be divided into three categories: resistance training, cardio training, and nutrition. For the purpose of this lesson, just realize that a combination of the three is what is needed for ideal fitness.

There are many ways to get fit; some are free and others can cost big money. Depending on your budget and schedule, you can begin by joining a local gym or just Google “home exercises” that can be done without any equipment.

If you are currently in a physically demanding job, you still need a well-balanced fitness program. Generally, jobs that are physically demanding may address your cardiovascular needs, but not muscular and certainly not nutritional. Likewise, a job lifting heavy objects may focus on just one or a few muscles and result in an unbalanced physique. 

Your mind cannot survive without your body. Take care of your body, and in return your body will take care of you.