Remember, your health is the number one asset you have. Without it not much else matters. When it comes to exercise, do you do just enough to check the box or do you go above and beyond? Do you go above and beyond at work but fail to do so for yourself. When is the last time you were able to hashtag #treatyoself? I know a lot of people love the hustle, love the grind, whatever you want to call it, I honestly don’t care. Love to say work don’t stop, grind don’t stop. No one is saying that the hustle needs to stop but you must make sure you are taking care of yourself as well. Don’t you care about yourself? Certainly you have to value your health more than your job. But maybe not. The way I like to think of it is you don’t want to ignore your health until you have no option but to pay attention to it.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends strength training at least 2 times per week. They specifically state using a weight level heavy enough to tire the muscles. Are you doing enough to check the box that you think you are checking off? Remember, you have to put in work. Also, they recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. Both of these mean your heart rate needs to be elevated, it should not feel as if you are chilling at the park having a nice picnic. If you are just starting out then moving is obviously better than not moving. Building that habit first is far more important than just trying to go balls to the wall sporadically. Consistency is always going to be key.
I think the worst thing for killing progress is not working hard enough to ever achieve progress. Typically it is progress that keeps people motivated, that keeps the fire lit under their arse. Measuring progress in more than one way can be crucial to long term success. You can measure fat loss (which is different than weight loss), strength gain, speed of which you get through the work, or ability to do a movement better. All of these measurements are great and are very important to highlight.
Now, innately we do not know how to strength train or do aerobic or vigorous exercise. Yes you can most certainly get results on your own but how sustainable are they or how confident are you with doing what you are doing. Many times when I visit corporate gyms such as planet fitness or equinox, there are many people who are all doing an awesome job of working towards their goals. However, many of them display movement patterns that are not the best for the body. Whether that is doing back squats with knees caving in towards each other, deadlifts with a rounded back and no tension or bench press with elbows flaring very wide. Again, I commend them for at least trying. However, this can usually lead to injuries especially as we get older which can cause us to stop moving, and generally when we are older and we stop moving, even more bad things start to happen. Suggestion: find a strength coach even if it’s only for a short duration and have them teach you how to move. Preferably a strength coach who is a StrongFirst certified instructor.
Something is always better than nothing, as I always say. This isn't meant to be taken to the extreme though, I still value effort. If your choice is nothing or something, obviously choose something, but effort needs to be a focus to truly reap all of the rewards of exercise. You can only know the Power of Strength if you work on building strength. There are so many valuable lessons that come along with strength training that help with life outside the gym.