Here's What You Can Do Today Accomplish Your Health & Fitness Goals.
Last week my hometown team, the Chicago Cubs, won the World Series. Generations of people had been praying for that moment for decades. But no amount of incantations to the heavens was going to bring about a championship trophy. To be sure, it would take changes, and positive changes require action.
Think about your muscles. If you want to change them – make them more flexible, bigger, stronger…that requires action.
“But the action you are talking about, resistance (weight) training causes me pain!” you exclaim. As humans we have an aversion to suffering. We take it very personally and often say how ‘unfair’ it is that we must endure suffering – and blame others.
Consider this perspective shift: suffering is a part of life. All creatures suffer (although not all creatures exhibit human traits of self-pity, blaming others). Everyone experiences physical, emotional pain. Imagine a life where your every desire and whim were catered to. You would quickly lose appreciation for the great things in life.
Suffering, which is inevitable, is a cosmic force akin to gravity on earth. It exists; it will occur. You don’t fight gravity do you? You don’t complain and pity yourself and blame others because you can’t just ‘float’ up to your room on the 3rd floor? No, you have accepted gravity as part of life, even as it literally shrinks your skeletal structure.
Do the same for suffering and your life will become happier, as counter intuitive as that sounds. Accepting suffering as part of life will free you to no longer add to your own self-induced misery by fearing suffering, or wallowing in self-pity, or blaming others when it occurs. Of course don’t seek it out, or intentionally cause it to others. I’m talking about when it just occurs – an accident, the death of a loved one, etc.
So back to our desire to change our muscles, yes it will require some suffering. But the weights are not your enemy. They are a means to your ultimate goal of positive change, which leads to greater happiness.
7 Fitness Tips For Positive Change
When you are doing an ab bridge, move your toes up and down as though you are doing calf raises. Or bring one knee up to your elbow, then the other. Do as many as you can of this. Or add a weight (plate) to your back.
Run as fast as you can for the last 3 minutes of every 3rd run you do. Over time increase that to 4 minutes, then 5. Have a great song to inspire you.
Put your phone away, and between sets work your abs, or calves, or stretch, or walk around.
Once a week do negative reps meaning resist the weight on the way down (or up in the case of something like lat pull downs). Really control the weight and feel the burn.
Use a machine or do an exercise for a given body part that you haven’t done in a long time, or not at all. If you don’t have any ideas just google “bicep exercises” (or whatever muscle), or ask me for ideas.
Buy a green juice and drink it first thing in the morning. It will promote alkalinity in your body and establish a positive, healthy mindset for the day.
Try a 24 hour fast – dinner Fri night to dinner Sat night – once a month. Drink water or healthy juices (greens) during that time.
Thought alone doesn’t lead to change. It requires action. Ideally you think carefully about what you are trying to achieve – your desired outcomes – before you begin to make changes. Change for change sake can be counterproductive. But assuming your desired outcome is clear – along with the ‘why’ – then it is time to take the action, and then celebrate the positive changes along the way.