1.Workouts don’t make you healthy, movements makes you healthy!
We live in a society, where we worship extremes. We swing from one extreme to another. This is true for our workouts- we either don’t train at all or we train to exhaustion and call this a healthy lifestyle.
Let e tell you- I was on this path. I used to be one of these people who wake up at 4a.m. in order to walk 3 miles to the gym; I used to wake up at 4a.m. in order to go to a swimming workout before work and school. I used to train twice a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY!
I used to live with the thought that I do more than those sitting in a chair all day long. I called my extreme – healthy, and their extreme – unhealthy.
In reality, both extremes ruin our health.
I used to be a slave of the notion that more, means better.
Looking on the past I feel sympathy for who I used to be or actually for what I did to my body.
Actually, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have just one definition, which limits it to the gym, the stadium, the aerobic gym and so forth.
Actually there is a difference between health and workouts ( the way most people do it) – the appearance and the presence in the gym is what matters, everything else is secondary. A wrong statement, which leads to our present condition where we have become walking alarms that “scream” for trouble- because pain is exactly this – it is a symptom that we are not doing something right.
Our notion of healthy lifestyle is expressed by workouts, which are constituted from exercises, which have nothing to do with the way our body functions. We train in a way, which creates muscle imbalance and leads to more severe injuries.
The truth is that healthy lifestyle (when it comes to the physical activity), includes exactly this- physical activity. Physical activity is the walks in the park, hiking in the mountain, digging in the back yard, gathering your harvest, mowing the yard.
We fool ourselves that we can compensate for our sedentary lifestyle, in 1-2 hours spend in the gym.
Today I look on workouts in a different way. Today, I train not more than three times a week, but I am physically active every day. I walk in the park every day, I climb stairs, I hike, I ride my bike and so forth.
Today, for me the gym is just the place, where in controlled conditions I have the opportunity to track every movement of my body, how it reacts to different stimulus; to experiment with different positions and angles of loading and how my body bears them. The gym is something like my lab, where I am not trying to defend my title of “a healthy living freak”, but as an opportunity to get to know my body better and the way it functions.
To understand how and why it reacts in a certain way and then use what I’ve learned in my daily life, so I can move pain free and preserve my physical abilities for longer.
Today, my healthy lifestyle is not a fight with my body, but more like a synchrony- the synchrony of listening to what it says, to get to know it better and serve it better.
Today, I do not teach people to train. I help them achieve enough consciousness for how they move in space- how they sit, stand, walk, how they lean down to pick something, how they squat and so forth. I help them reinvent their body, by giving it what they have deprived it from and reconstruct a better functioning “machine” which will serve them.
2.More workouts, doesn’t mean skinnier
I wish I knew that working out more, doesn’t mean that I will lose weight faster. I wish I knew that this extreme with workouts, leads to exactly the opposite- to plateau, provoked by the constant stress on my body and its desperate tries to survive.
I wish I used to be wise enough, to know that it is not important to do much, but to do enough; that it is not important to do everything, but just what is right!
Today, I do not train to lose weight. If I want to lose weight, I know that it is nutrition and movement (non- exercise physical activity) that will do the work.
Nowadays, I train for function- I train to be healthy; to make my core stronger so it can keep my spine save; I train to remind the muscles on my back, that they are not there for decoration and that they have some work to do.
3.Being in shape doesn’t mean living in the gym
Being in shape and having a healthy lifestyle, doesn’t mean becoming a slave of schedules and schemes. It doesn’t mean spending your life in the presence of weights and your pre- packed meals.
This is the plot, just when you have a wrong approach. When you are aware how your body functions and what it needs, then you realize that the meaning of life is so much more that wasting your energy in the gym; spending countless hours planning your meals and becoming an antisocial person with limited interests and activities.
We are so much more than this! We have an unlimited potential and 24 hours every single day, when we can fulfill it. One day can fit so much meaning and so many different activities. The only premise is to stop wasting efforts and structure it better; to give enough in the proper direction and not to give everything in all directions.
In college, they used to teach us that during a crisis it is good to have a diversification of your business. It is the same in life- it is always good to have a diversification of your interests and activities. A lot of people force their soul to starve and waste their life, because some kind of crisis or a bad situation takes away the opportunity to live routinely- in moments like this, if you have a palette of interests and activities, which thrill you and opportunities, which you have developed, you will always have a direction and a path to follow.
4.A healthy lifestyle is not a particular training method or a particular diet
… It is a philosophy of existence! A healthy lifestyle is just a consequence of our philosophy about life. It is built on the principles and values, which we have for everything we do and everything that happens. A healthy lifestyle is the accumulated sum of the choices we make. Choices, which are provoked from our priorities. Choices, which are provoked from grading what matters.
When we realize that WE are what matters; that our health is the most valuable we possess, then each one of our choices will be dictated by this conviction. Then, we won’t undertake actions, which will ruin our body and health. Then, we will know that working out to exhaustion is an act AGAINST your body. Then, starving yourself in order to look in a particular way will be an act AGAINST your body. Then, overeating will be an act AGAINST your body.
5.Workouts are not with an end in itself to look in a particular way, but also to feel in a particular way!
The moment when I realized it, was one of the best moments of my life. The moment, when I went to my subsequent workout and my body was crying from exhaustion. I was warming up, when even my will didn’t want me to keep training. Then, I decided that I will have more use if I just stop and go in the park for a walk or just sit on a bench and rest.
The day, when it wasn’t time for my next meal, but I was hungry and my body felt weak. The day, when I decided that I will feed myself, without depriving myself by following my diet’s scheme, because I couldn’t stand the way I felt. I couldn’t stand how all the time I was thinking how weak I felt and how I cannot focus on what I was doing.
The day, when I understood that if a workout or a nutrition plan is making me feel bad, then it Is not healthy at all!
6.A workout plan is not something static, but dynamic
Just like a diet is not static, but dynamic, the same is true for our workouts. Just because, somewhere is written that I should train every day, doesn’t mean I should do it. I used to train in a strict schedule and even when I had a sleepless night or when I couldn’t get to sleep on time for a long time and I felt tired, I used to still train- even though my body complained. Now I know that it won’t be the end of the world if I do not train for 3 days and if I go to the gym on the fourth. I am already not dependent on workouts. I am dependent on feeling good. I do not allow to sabotage myself anymore and I don’t make my body suffer.
Take better care of yourself and treat your body better!
You deserve it!