Today I’d like to write about something that has become alarmingly apparent to me. My body is weak! I can’t believe I am saying this but it’s true. Let me explain . . .
I have been a bodybuilder for twenty years and along with that lifestyle came the acquisition of overall strength, muscle size and the feeling of invulnerability to most external forces. About four months ago I suddenly stopped weight training altogether so that I could spend more time on my business and in the almost forgotten arena of sport. I just figured my mind and body needed a break from the wear and tear and overly structured daily regimen that comes with the bodybuilder’s life.
I’m 35 now, and I wanted to play again, interact with others and basically recapture some of those lost feeling of what it means to be young. All good so far, right? Well almost. I now play hockey three to four times a week, and while it does keep me lean, I’ve lost significant amounts of muscle and strength. Sure I’ve done a few “maintenance” workouts along the way, but they’ve been too infrequent and uninspired to be effective. At least I’ve improved my endurance, flexibility and my hockey skills in the wake of my strength loss.
So how does this translate to my life in general? Not so good, I’m afraid. I have noticed a newly acquired awareness in my movements that I’ve never felt before. Bending, squatting, pulling, pushing and even sitting now take far more energy and concentration than they did only months ago. Why is this so?
At the end of the day, playing hockey all week has just made be better at playing hockey. This is truly a testament to weight training and the benefits derived from a properly structured program. Clearly weight training was what kept me strong and injury free for 20 years. No sport in the world can prepare you for the sport of life. Sports skills are specific to the demands of the sport and don’t necessarily carry over well into everyday life. Golfing everyday will not aid your ability to bend down to pick up a pen or tie your shoe. It won’t help you lift your children into their car seats. It won’t make running to catch the bus any easier on your aching knees and ankles either.
Lifting weights on the other hand, can help with these and most other day-to-day physical challenges. Weight training is a key component to preparing yourself for the sport of life. When done properly it is also the safest and most effective means to improving your overall strength and vitality. You can train the muscles at any and all angles to develop strength in all planes of motion which is a major advantage to other modes of training.
[text style=”large-callout”] You can always pick out the people who don’t take care of themselves or properly prepare for the sport of life. They generally: [/text]
- Decay rapidly;
- Suffer needlessly from disease and degeneration;
- Experience higher than normal incidence of injury
- Experience prolonged healing and recovery periods from injury and illness.
This is unfortunate and certainly puts a major drain on our health care resources. I have always believed that most illness and disease are preventable so long as each individual takes it upon themselves to learn natural ways to prevent ailments and expedite the healing process.
Even athletes aren’t exempt from this dubious distinction. Although they may be very skilful in their chosen sport, for some, it ends there. They live the rest of their life with reckless abandon. Their diets are awful and most don’t appreciate how to eat properly in order to deliver the best performance. Athletes today are getting injured at rapid rates, mostly due to poor lifestyle choices and inactivity off the field. Being active on a continuous and daily basis is the only way to keep fit and strong.
If you’re one of those people who believe that playing a sport a couple times a week or suffering through some grueling weekly bootcamps are the answer to your health and fitness, think again. Just look at my situation as an example. Nothing feels worse than being weak and there is no such thing as staying the same; you’re either getting weaker or you’re getting stronger. I know I’m going to make a better effort to balance my fitness by lifting weights more often.
When you wake up every morning you need to plot a course of action that best prepares you for the sport of life. From what you eat, how much you sleep, when you exercise and so forth, you need a plan that allows you to get the most out of your existence. Eat foods that are produced naturally, lift weights regularly, play a sport, engage in physical activities and walk when possible. It’s a simple solution to most of life’s problems, and it works.
Don’t suffer through life, take the reins and be the master of your own fate. Emphasize quality into your life and settle for nothing less. In turn, you’ll be a more productive and influential person, empowered with wellness that can’t believe you ever lived without.
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