Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Educating Yourself about Exercise

I know it doesn't surprise you that I'm always trying something new. Whenever I want to try something new at the gym I always go online and do my research so that I don't look too stupid. I always look pretty stupid anyways. Bicep curls on an incline bench aren't supposed to be very difficult, but I find them challenging enough to do well. 

Need I say more? Maybe I'll just stick with the more traditional bicep curls done standing up. I could go on and on about lifting. Seriously, there are so many things I love about the gym and so many things that make me fearful or embarrassed. So basically I am sticking with my normal routine for now because, well, as much as I like trying out new things, I also like the familiar and being stuck in a rut. BTW, anybody ever try robot curls? Just heard about them today. 

Incidentally, today I had to take my own advice and JUST DO IT. For some crazy reason I woke up groggy this morning (which NEVER happens) and I'm not sure why. I had gotten a great night's sleep, and yesterday's activities weren't all that demanding. As I think back on my day yesterday, I think I might have been reacting to the sports massage I had in the morning. It was an hour and a half of sheer torture -- in the best sense of the word. A couple of times I had to ask for a 30 second break just to get my breath back. It was like doing an hour and a half of cardio. The therapist is an amazing expert in physiology who works all the right muscles so that I can continue to lead this crazy running lifestyle of mine. That said, an effective massage can take a lot out of you. Here's the deal, and I've said it before. If you are going to put your body through its paces on a regular basis, pampering it is not an option. A massage is my way of telling my body "Thank you" for everything it gives me week in and week out. I couldn't run, bike, swim, or lift without its eager cooperation. Fitness takes time, effort, and occasionally some pain. But the payoff? The payoff is like something you've never imagined. 

In a world where we have every convenience at our fingertips, it's a wonder that any of us move our bodies at all. I have to point the finger at myself too. It wasn't until Becky passed away that my relationship to exercise changed. My inactivity was probably due as much to a lack of education as anything. But the older you get, the more you need to be in touch with your body and realize how diet and exercise can affect your overall health and longevity. So you see, I've had my ups and downs with exercise. I have also struggled with cravings for all kinds of junk food. But I'm happy to say that at 70 years of age I feel like I'm at a good place physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It just took some time and perseverance, as well as some self-educating. The key is moderation, rest, and consistency. The thing that most people don't take into account is the fact that exercise doesn't have to beat up the body. With proper rest and adaptation, exercise will actually strengthen the tissue, bones, and tendons. Just make sure your workouts are well-rounded and varied. 

You might even try a new dumbbell curl from time to time.