Pump It Up or Pound the Pavement: Just Do Something!
I was having a discussion with an old friend the other day on what we considered to be effective workout routines. Both of us had risen from humble beginnings physically (I used to wear size “husky” T-shirts and he used to give Steven Tyler a run for his money) to achieve what our friends had called “athletic” physiques.
I asked the beanpole-turned-fitness guru if my workout regimen was alright or if I should be doing more weights, cardio, strength training, yada yada. A certified personal trainer, my friend offered this enlightening piece of advice:
“It doesn’t matter what you do to stay fit, as long as you’re doing something.”
We’ve been inundated with a seemingly endless variety of fitness routines and machines, but which one is the all-encompassing, guaranteed “or your money back” workout? Does Chuck Norris know something we don’t? The answer is: there’s no answer and that’s thrilling news for anybody who doesn’t want to do Tae-Bo or any one exercise program every single day for the rest of his life.
If you’re taking a half-hour walk home every day after school, you’re doing something for your body. If P90X is your thing, more power to you. Hell, if you feel energized working out to old Richard Simmons tapes, keep that VCR plugged in.
Sticking to any single workout routine too long is actually counter-intuitive. In order to stay fit, you’ve got to give your body a jolt now and again. So, if you happen to follow fitness expert Obi Obadike’s extreme regimen to a T, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a day off and enjoy a simple game of tennis to get your workout in. Not only will you be jump-starting your body, you’ll make it much more fun for yourself.
Don’t get down on yourself if you’re not a championship rock climber or mixing it up in the ring with Kimbo Slice. You’re not a sedimentary person for “only” swimming every other day. Playing pickup basketball games on the weekend is still working out. You don’t need to be at the gym or rocking a Livestrong shirt to be “working out.
It’s truly up to you what you do for a workout and what you aim to achieve. If your goal is to go All-American or make a scene at Muscle Beach, then put in the crazy amount of work required and make it a lifestyle.
My advice is more applicable to guys like me who still need time in the week to catch up on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and do the little things, you know, like go to work and date. It’s just good to know you’re doing something to avoid heart attacks and, more importantly, a muffintop.
So, lace up your cleats, hit the slopes or do whatever water polo players do. Don’t worry about what the next guy’s doing (unless he’s seriously super cut, c’mon) and do whatever combination of physical fitness you can with the time you have. Any minute spent working out that you’re not gobbling down chicken wings is a better one for your body.
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.