My fitness regime

As I was walking home from the library today (my temporary source of Internet access) cars zoomed past me  and people gave me strange looks when I passed them at the stoplights. It got me thinking to how much the world has changed in terms of lifestyle and how convenience has , to a certain degree, ruined our lives and health.

There were times when no one did anything but walk if their destination was within walking distance. Horses were designated for longer journeys (and by longer I mean days travel on foot), Then we upgraded to bicycles and those were pretty handy for when you needed to get somewhere in a hurry. There are still cultures where bicycles are the primary mode of transportation, and I think it’s really a great solutions. But I’m getting of track here.

There were days where all food was locally grown and home cooked. It was hard to transport food longer distances so you had to make do with what you had available right there. There were no chemical preservatives or flavor enhancers – just plain old real food. All the animals were humanly raised and lived off the land  – so the meat wasn’t half bad either. People didn’t have to make a conscious effort to make “good food choices” because that was all that was available.

 

In todays times people jump in their car instead of walking five minutes to the nearest store. They buy frozen, pre-packaged conservative laden meals because they’re easy to prepare. Or they skip the preparation process all together and go out to a fast food because a) the food is cheep, b) it’s so chemically laden it’s addicting. And then we wonder why we have a problem with obesity and bad health in so called “westernized countries” and why we have to worry about our diet and fitness regime.

 

I might be putting myself out on a limb here, but I’d dare say that having a generally active lifestyle will do more for your health and overall fitness then sitting down all day and pumping out an hour at the gym every day. I know that strength training and cardio are two vital elements of good health and fitness, but I think being generally active has a part in there as well. Of course, we all have days when all we feel like doing is vegging out on the couch and watching TV , and that’s healthy as well.  But I don’t think we’d have to worry so much about getting in a “work out” every day if we just made little changes to our lifestyle.

80% of my exercise comes from walking. Especially now in the summer – walking is pure joy! If I have the time I’d much rather walk somewhere then take a bus. It’s eco-friendly for one, and it’s such a good way to get in some movement and still get somewhere. I don’t have a bike at the moment, but if I did I would totally bike as well.  Since I have struggled with an exercise addiction in the past (more on this in another post) I try to not get to compulsively attached to any form of exercise, or feel like I HAVE to do it every single day. Walking doesn’t seem to affect me in that way. I do it when I feel like it, I don’t do it when I don’t. I don’t do it to burn calories or fight fat – I do it because it’s enjoyable, cheap (you have no idea how much I must have saved on bus tickets over the months) and it makes me feel good.

 

The other 20% of my fitness regime is yoga, zumba, occasional running and strength training. Running and strength training are forms of exercise that have become compulsive for me in the past so I need to consciously keep them in moderation, although I really enjoy both. My main motto is – if I REALLY don’t feel like it – I don’t do it. One morning I went out for a run and about 15 minutes into it I stopped. It was sheer torture – I had no energy, no drive, no inspiration and felt dizzy and weak. That afternoon I started feeling sick, and obviously my body had needed the extra rest. I enjoy exercise when I feel energized, the adrenalin is pumping through me, I feel powerful and alive. That’s when I KNOW I’m doing the right thing for my body, because it feels so great.

 

Alright this was somewhat of a wordy post, but I obviously have a lot to say on the issue. Now it’s over to you.

 

What are you opinions on the matter? Is an overall  active lifestyle more important then going the gym everyday?

 

What does your fitness regime look like?

 

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6 comments

  1. I think so. But I don’t like gyms so I’m biased. 😉 I love walking, be it hiking, a stroll, or a brisk walk home for some exercise. I add in some running (except I don’t like it so much in the warmer weather) and swimming.

    As an anecdote about how much stranger it is to walk around these days: I missed the bus home when I was 17, it was during the day and I decided to just walk home instead. It was maybe 40 minutes. Just outside my village, I got pulled over by the police because some one had reported me, saying there was a 12 year old walking down the street. I was so NOT amused. 😉

    Have a great day! xx

  2. I miss exercise so much and feel awfully guilty for doing nothig. I literally sit all day and night. I walk once or twice – but it is just lazy. This really upsets me. My health has been low low for abut 3years noow, so its a viious cycel..i miss what i used to be able to do…so stiff all the time. IDK what’s right anymore.

  3. I think walking places would be so much better. I often wish people would do more of that and save the cars for longer trips. There is a couple of grocery stores a mile from my house that my mom drives to when we could just as easily walk. On the fast food thing, I can’t even eat the stuff anymore. The chemicals and grease and oils in it just bothers me and makes me sick. I wish real food was more accepted now so people wouldn’t look at me funny when I say I can’t eat with them at McDonalds. Healthy lifestyles need to become a trend, and I mean really healthy lifestyles not diets.

  4. Everything I’ve read points to the understanding that working out for 30-60 minutes in the morning and then sitting around doing nothing all day is just as bad as doing nothing as the first place, so I’d say an overall “active” lifestyle is probably key. That doesn’t mean you have to be moving everyone second of every hour (I wish I could figure that out…), but getting up every 30 or 60 minutes and stretching or going for a little walk is refreshing and enjoyable.

  5. You have such a healthy and intelligent opinion when it comes to exercise!! i TOTALLY AGREE – overall fitness activity is the best. When we were children, we used to walk and run and play all day long and our bones could grow long and strong thanks to that. It was all about fun and friends and it was great:) As we grow older, we are attacked by media telling us to do this or that fancy sport activity so we end up booking class like total freaks and we don´t care for the fun and enjoyment anymore. So being “normally” active throughout the day with a gym class thrown in every now and then seems the best way to overall health to me 🙂

  6. i really really really love this post. it totally resonates with me, especially this statement, which i totally agree with: “but I’d dare say that having a generally active lifestyle will do more for your health and overall fitness then sitting down all day and pumping out an hour at the gym every day” – i’m working in an office nowadays, but i’d love to walk more. i think there are so many great things that come with walking – mindfulness, time to think, observing, being aware of your surroundings – that don’t come with the machinated (and often compulsive) actions of going to the gym… and i can definitely understand those compulsions. i’ve learned that when my body does NOT want cardio, i should NOT force myself to do it. i’m glad you’ve come to terms with that too! so great and refreshing to hear =)


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