Your body is an intricate machine that was made to move and exert itself. Every machine that does not keep moving ends up rusting and decaying. Beyond the myriad of health benefits that have been drilled into us since elementary school, I am preconizing exercise for a more direct and practical reason as far as this blog is concerned: Mastery of the body brings unmatched levels of confidence, discipline, and level-headedness that are essential to success in any other aspects of your life.
When I say exercise, I do not mean going for a run every couple of days for 5 minutes. I mean incorporating intense exercise into a discipline to master. Depending on your personal preferences this can mean a number of things:
• Martial Arts.
• Team Sports.
• General athletics like sprinting, endurance running, swimming, climbing.
• Powerlifting or bodybuilding.
Or anything else that may interest you as a discipline. The point here is not to just dabble and try it out. It is to practice that discipline to the peak of your individual performance, to constantly keep pushing yourself to perform better and do more. You do not stop when you can finally run that 5km. You then do 10km, then 20km and you never stop improving. Making that process part of your lifestyle is the best way to make sure you exercise often and enough.
The beauty of it is that you do not need to achieve the peak of your conditioning to feel the benefits of confidence, discipline, and mastery over your own body. All you have to do is show yourself how you can be better than you previously imagined. If you don’t think you can run 5km or bench your bodyweight then by achieving those intermediary goals, you gain a lot of the benefits that I described earlier. Start small, just beyond what you think you can achieve now and make that happen, then set a slightly bigger goal and achieve that. If you keep at it, in a couple of months you will be amazed at how much improvement can be made.
Finally, unless you have a passion for a specific activity or sport, I would personally recommend lifting weights. While you can achieve the same mastery over the body with any exercise, lifting has the huge advantage of being the most time-efficient. With our busy schedules we often have little time to dedicate towards learning the specific skills required of different sports: throwing hoops, swimming or climbing techniques, etc. Besides the few basic safety principles, lifting requires very little actual knowledge or financial investment to get into.
Actually so does running, however, both for men and for women lifting also has the side bonus of sculpting the body of your dreams(I am not kidding, google “lifting benefits for women”). How’s that for a side-effect? I recommend starting slow. Simply get in the habit of going to the gym and enjoy the time you spend there to relax and try new things, as you get used to it then you can start implementing actual exercises and routines. As before, consult a personal trainer for best results.