Exercise: Step by Step

There arises within the individual a realization of the drudgery of exercise. Make no mistake . . . being healthy, maintaining the modicum of wellness, is a continual repetition of activities to facilitate those outcomes. Many people approach exercise with the thought of ‘I want immediate and tangible results’. Many of those people live and die by the scale. This is not the way to approach wellness. The preoccupation with palpability’s resulting from one’s actions can become discouraging. The path of fitness, of wellness, is an unending journey. This is summed up in the Buddhist saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

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Fitness for an Olympic caliber athlete is a high degree of fitness. Likewise fitness acquisition for a middle aged, sedentary person, who has been directed by their physician to ‘get more exercise, is that same striving for a ‘high degree of fitness’. Neither of these individuals is better than the other as each are working to achieve their own certain ends, one repetition, one breath at a time. Each must get up and do what is necessary to come nearer to the goal. However, there is no stopping once the goal is attained. That achievement must be, to a larger or smaller degree, maintained.

There is no right around the corner way to becoming well, to becoming fit. The road is long. Even though there are (were) group classes or community classes, the results that are realized arise from the input of one’s solo efforts. The only person is going to lift that dumbbell, complete the StairMaster session, adjust and consume a healthier diet is the one who is striving for results from those actions. The row must be hoed in order to reap the fruits. The care and attention that is given to the process is what is required to obtain the results. The quest for fitness is a continuous, step by step process of repetition, recovery, repetition.

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The expectation of what one’s efforts should result in must not cloud the perception of what is happening during the process. Small gains should be perceived in a positive manner and allowed to be  encouraging. They are the small steps that bring one closer to their goal. The goal, that is ever present. As one becomes more fit, the process can become one of maintenance. If one reaches a certain level, they can retain those gains that have been achieved. This is a good thing. Sometimes, one just does not want to go all out. This should not be utilized as a reason to stop. A respite can be very rejuvenating towards one’s efforts. Use it as such and press forward.

Do not let the journey become boring. There are many options that can be used as supplemental activities when one’s program becomes stagnant. One’s efforts need not stall due to boredom. As long as some type of activity in continually engaged in, one will always draw nearer to the goal. Although the goal is something that will always be striven for (i.e. one must continually put forth effort), it can be, on a regular basis, attained.  

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