All about Fitness Routine

July 11, 2022 0 Comments

According to Google, the most searched topics for health and fitness last year were tabata workouts, burpees, the CrossFit routine “Murph” and even the “Tom Brady” diet. While these searches correlate with the recent fads and trends, the age-old dilemmas of losing weight and toning up are what’s really behind the recent in fitness.

With such a constant and insatiable public appetite for new-found answers, the culture of the fitness media reads like a handbook for the problems of getting slim and fit. Check out a Muscle & Fitness or Cosmopolitan magazine from 30 years ago and then compare it to a fitness website from today. The trends and fads have changed, but the answers we are looking for are the same. The bottom line for many is”How can I find the holy grail of being fit, looking good, and feeling good?”

Unfortunately, such a desired transcendent goal is a fallacy perpetuated by the “before and after” myth of perfection. Health, wellness, and fitness states are moving goals, considering that life is an ever-changing and temporary goal. But the original urge to find the genie in the bottle remains.

The persistent nagging to seek convenient answers will persist stubbornly until we find the courage to ask the right questions. “What” and “how” may dominate the headlines, but “why” is the much more important dilemma. As with any successful fitness routine or purposeful spiritual journey, it’s not pleasant or necessarily fun to sit with the right questions, but the rewards can be life-changing.

Instead of spending your energy trying to find perfectly packaged solutions to your health and wellness challenges, here’s a cheat sheet to help you ask the right questions.

Why did I gain weight?

“How do I lose weight?” is a popular question that has a lot of answers. A much more important question is “How to keep weight?” The question of how to achieve your goal weight, instead of achieving it, has far fewer and more difficult answers. But the essential question that really unlocks the right formula is the question of why you gained weight in the first place. (Note: it’s not about calories or laziness).

The obesity epidemic has a lot to do with our toxic food supply and the subsequent addictive behavior of a large part of our population. Sitting with the questions of desire, compulsion and avoidance are much more important questions than determining which exercise routine burns the most calories. Until you ask yourself such self-directed questions, you can lose weight, but it will be difficult for you to stay that way.

What way of moving my body brings me joy?

Joy is not synonymous with fun. Fun is found in enjoyment, distraction and pleasure. This notion of enjoyment is popular, and the fitness industry is more than happy to have copious amounts of fun, music-pumping, endorphin-inspiring bells and whistles.

While these shiny distractions can be appealing at first and even cause a temporary state of euphoria, only joy brings a lasting feeling. Joy is the culmination of commitment and purpose. Joy is shown by the artist who expresses a truthful performance, or an athlete who makes years of sacrifices in order to finally form the team.

As with solving the riddle of weight gain, the litmus test of joy lies in asking the right question. The core of joy is a variation of the question” “What makes time stand still for me while I’m doing it?” Joy may be hard to quantify, but when you see or feel it, you know it. When joy is manifested, the expression is to be fully present, satisfied and complete.

Am I getting better at something?

Your goals are the reason you start a fitness routine; people are the reason you stay there. Burning calories does not form a common bond, the common pursuit of perfecting a craft. The things that good martial arts schools, CrossFit boxing, and yoga studios get right are that they teach you to do something better – a skill, a craft, or a technique. This promotes the community.

Conversely, the desire to look better does not connect you with another person. Before you embark on your next fashion diet or fitness craze, do yourself a favor and find a tribe that will teach you to develop, refine and perfect a craft.

Am I moving well?

This circuit of machines that they make certainly seems to be efficient and safe. While that may or may not be true, one thing you don’t do on the bicep curl machine is get your body moving more effectively or economically.

I have heard countless people say over the years that they were not coordinated, naturally athletic or graceful. However, such a blanket statement presupposes that we humans are not able to grow in such areas. If you can become stronger and slimmer, then you certainly possess the ability to move your body better, be it through sports, dance, yoga or martial arts. Conclusion: a stronger biceps will not help you live longer, but will effortlessly get up from a sitting position on the floor.

Does my fitness routine make me healthier?

When was the last time you checked your blood pressure, resting heart rate, or cortisol levels? How is your heart health, gut health or mental health? Unfortunately, too often such questions are an afterthought, until life dictates that health becomes an important consideration. When designing a fitness routine, aesthetic results often determine the approach, rather than determining what leads to real results in long-term health and well-being.

I get it, you want to do your best, complete with six-pack and torn arms. I’ve been there and I can relate to that. Pretty much every one of us wants to like what we see in the mirror staring at us. But behind the desire to look good is the authentic desire to be good. Working from the outside to the inside can only take so long without dealing with what lurks underneath. By starting from the inside out, you will not only appeal to your health, but also assess your true readiness for training or playing. Your blood pressure or heart rate variability can tell you a better story of your fitness than simply relying on willpower and peer pressure.

A good way to distinguish a fitness fad from a lasting trend is to see if the modality in question offers you a convenient answer or helps you ask a deeper question. The former will bring you temporary success at best, while the latter will provide real growth and permanent progress. One of the greatest ironies of life is that we spend a lot of time looking for poignant answers, but often we know the solution if we are only willing to ask the right questions.

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