Inviting fitness into your life is, hands-down, one of the best things you can do for your mind, body and soul. Forget that it will help you get a “fit” body – because that’s really more of a side effect of fitness. The real benefit is the cascade effect of transformation it brings about. Fitness will reach into every corner of your day-to-day life; it will improve every part of you, strengthen every little thing that makes you, you.
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We have the tendency to think of working out and heading to the gym as a competitive “exercise” in vanity, one where we’re constantly “fighting” with our bodies to look a certain way. The issue of whether to go to the gym, or not go to the gym, becomes polarized in our imagination: either I exercise, or I don’t.
While our initial drive to start exercising might be for aesthetic reasons – to lose weight and build sexy muscles – other things start to happen as a result. You start to experience your body in a new way. You become more aware of your body and how it works. You learn that your body isn’t something you need to fight with; your body is an amazing machine designed by nature to be strong, confident, and functional.
Life is busy, gyms are annoying, and fitness regimes are completely impractical. How am I supposed to go to the gym five times a week for 1-2 hour workouts, and still get everything else done? Sure, it’s doable – if you’re intensely organized. But the reality is that most of us operate somewhere in the grey area between organized and disorganized.
Enter my super practical high-intensity workout.
Here’s the thing: cycling is, hands-down, a great way to get around the city. It’s cheap, it’s fast, it’s fun, it’s exercise, it’s challenging, it’s liberating. But on the flip side of that coin, it’s also a great way to immerse yourself within – what I like to call – the Network of Stupidity. Yep, that’s right, I said it: road users are idiots. And that includes cyclists.
From the moment Narcissus saw his reflection in the water, mirrors have been a curse placed upon our lives. One of the most reflective places you’ll ever be in is the gym, and in many ways those mirrors at the gym are anything but your friend.
There are, however, benefits to mirrors at the gym and some genuine reasons (other than vanity) for having so many of them. When I was first learning the proper technique for squatting, for example, a mirror came in handy to help me keep an eye on my foot and knee placement.
As much as vacation is about rest and relaxation, eating food I’m not used to and having one or two (or ten) margaritas can leave me feeling a bit yucky the next day. To top it off, as much as I love the beach, I’ve never been able to sit on it all day because I get a bit antsy – even with a good book in my lap. An early morning beach-vacation workout before the sun is high in the sky (and before I eat breakfast) leaves me feeling refreshed and relaxed and better able to enjoy a day on the sand.
Certain spaces tend to cause my introverted self to become more, shall we say, pronounced. If I were to describe some characteristics of these spaces that I found most unpleasant to spend time in, a few things come to mind:
- Spaces with bright lighting
- Spaces with loud, unpleasant music blaring
- Hypersexual spaces
- Spaces full of extroverted, annoyingly energetic, overly confident people making animal noises as they lift weights
Does this sound like a gym to you?
Well, I have some news for you.