I don’t understand all these loud angry political voices and attitudes or the folks with snakes on their license plates, complaining about being tread on (yes, I promise, I’m going to tie this soapbox into improving our fitness). Do we have problems to work on? Of course. Everyone has always had them. Read history. Ours are not without either solutions or ways to manage them cooperatively though. Together.
If you’re reading this, you’ve lived your whole life in the finest and easiest conditions of any human beings since we’ve been on this wonderful planet. There are no saber-toothed tigers roaming around; we have plentiful food and drinkable water; we live in climate controlled environments; we don’t have chamber pots or outhouses; we have far more clothes and shoes than we need; we sleep on comfortable mattresses in warm beds; we wash in warm water; we have automobiles for convenient transportation; we have smart phones for immediate communication; we even have Google for every bit of human knowledge at our fingertips.
That’s why I say anger is a bit inappropriate (understatement here). It is ridiculous and sounds a lot like a whining, spoiled child. The promised tie-in: All those advantages may be why, although the evidence is very clear that doing whatever is necessary to be healthier results in less pain and less disease, so many people don’t do what they know will help them. Because we live such sheltered lives of plentiful comfort, we don’t want to introduce what looks like effort and denial of pleasure for later rewards.
I know, we can’t exercise because: we’re too busy and we don’t have time (just turn off the television and Presto! we have time), too tired already (exercise = feel good endorphins short term and improved fat/lean muscle tissue ratio = more energy long term), responsible for time with our children (set a positive example and include them in the healthier lifestyle), back pain (research is very clear that safely designed exercise is the #1 correction for back pain), it’s boring (no, it isn’t. Ask any of our clients), you’re thin already (just being genetically thin has nothing to do with being healthy or even with body fat percent). OK, I can go on, but you get the idea. Excuses are exactly that. So let me confidently reassure you: A safe well-designed exercise and nutrition lifestyle will not only give you less discomfort and pain for more of the years you live—it will help you feel better immediately.
A healthier lifestyle is not about delayed gratification, it is not about sacrifice today for rewards later. It is about feeling better as soon as you start.
And it’s cumulative. Living this way builds on itself. It continues to reward on progressive levels of improvement (which is exactly why we have so many clients who are continuing with us after 10, 15 and 20 years).
The optimal conditions I partially listed earlier are here for us, and our lives can be so much more enjoyable when we are pain free—without physical discomfort and with the energy to be more active.
I write my columns with the sincere wish that at least one person per column finds something to motivate them toward the steps necessary to improve his or her health.
You will never regret those steps.