The One You'll Do

After about a three year hiatus, I’ve gotten back into the pool.  Now, for a while after I left a gym job that got me a membership as one of the perks, I turned to walking as my primary exercise.

This isn’t going to be some rant about the superiority of any particular exercise.   In reality, there’s no such thing, no matter how much the steroid monkeys throw poorly understood research articles at each other.

Unless you are a professional or world-class competitive athlete, the answer for the perfect exercise is really is simple.  It’s the one you can do that you’ll choose to do on some pretty regular basis.

That’s it.

Sure, sure you might make a hobby out of your chosen activity.  To keep up interest, you might measure progress or learn about the activity.  It’s no coincidence that the physical activities I have loved best are extremely skill and form based.  But that sort of thing doesn’t matter as much as you think.  At a certain age, you’re only going to progress so far, and you’re only going to choose to devote a specific amount of time to being active (and by the way, half an hour a day and you’re good.  That hour a day stuff is about weight loss without diet change, not cardiovascular fitness).

The person who goes for a half hour walk every day, doesn’t measure distance or make a hobby out of performance, but Just Does It over a long period of time is actually in a better exercise position than the person who goes hammer and tongs at working out every few months for a few weeks, but then gets sick of it.

Heroic effort might be more interesting while you’re doing it, but I challenge anyone who does than (*looks sternly in the mirror*) to measure how that holds up against consistency.

5 Replies to “The One You'll Do”

  1. Thank you so much for this. I have been having a horrible time – depression has kicked in and all I want to do is sleep until the last possible moment. I haven’t gotten over to the workout room, I haven’t been getting up out of my chair…I’ve been hating myself for being such a lazy bum. I can’t get to the pool any more – well, I can get to the pool, but then I have to turn around and come back to the office. I don’t mind working out – I like lifting, I don’t mind the elliptical. And I love it when you post about working out. It always helps me remember I”m not alone in the struggle.

  2. Agree, agree, agree! I don’t like to advertise for any company, but as the Nike ad says, Just Do It! ♥

  3. No, halfmoon-mollie, you’re not alone.

    There’s no need to hate yourself for whether or not you work out, either. It’s hardly a measure of your morality as a person.

    The reason to work out is because it helps keep your body a bit healthier and stronger. Maybe helps your mood a bit. That’s it. You’re hardly “good” if you work out and “bad” if you don’t.

  4. Absolutely, the one you’ll do is the best one if there is a best. I’ve been walking over a year now, and I’m still at it, despite having times when I dread the dreadmill; I have access to a small gym at work, so this winter I’m going to use the exercise bikes and rowing machines to replace my lunchtime walks.

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