Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take a pill that would:
• Decrease your chance of getting a heart attack, high blood pressure, low back pain and indigestion.
• Deflate psychological and physical tension, and help you deal with daily stress.
• Promote muscle relaxation and better sleep.
• Improve your energy and sense of well-being
• Remake your appearance and give you a hardier, stronger, better looking body.
• Boost your self-image and self confidence
all of this without any side effects or imbalances.
Unfortunately, the SUPER PILL hasn’t surfaced yet, but there is an alternative with the same effects: PHYSICAL EXERCISE. And happily today you can become fitter faster by following exercise and nutrition guidelines developed by modern sports science.
There’s a strange misconception in this country that fitness is gained by running and running and running and running. So the streets are full of joggers huffing and puffing and incurring joint injuries from too much pavement pounding. If you were to run three times a week for 20-430 minutes at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate you would develop a good level of aerobic fitness. Do it seven days a week for 2-3 hours at 80-90% of your heart rate and you reach a positively marvel level. Such a level, however, is fraught with added risk of injury. Moreover, aerobic aptitude is only one of the elements of fitness. There is much more to fitness than that.
Fitness, by broad definition, is your ability to take on the demands of everyday life with ease, with room to spare for handling the occassional emergency situations that arise. If you are among the 90 million or so “casually athletic” Americans; fitness is also the subjective yardstick you apply to your ability to play all out and the degree of muscle soreness you experience afterward.
Whatever your standard of fitness, or your lack of abundance of it, you no doubt would like to improve it.
It is important to establish realistic goals when engaging in an exercise program. Starting an exercise program thinking that you wil become an Olympic champion might not be realistic and could develop a false expectation that will never be achieved.
So forget the mythical, Olympian notion of perfection andd just concentrate on developing your own individual “brand” and degree of fitness.
A practical goal is to achieve reasonable levels of development in the various elements of fitness that you are interested in.
You can take eight different roads to get there. You can take expressways, or ake side roads, depending on your fitness destination. You won’t need to take all of them, but you will want to make use of more than one to reach your potential the fastest.
Choose your options and stick with them, make them apart of your lifestyle. Don’s expect miracles overnight. Slow, sure progress is better than over doing it and getting injured.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed