The human body is designed to move. A large percentage of the health issues and physical dysfunction human beings face is simply do to a lack of movement. Sure the average person can claim that they walk, maybe climb stairs, maybe exercise to some degree, but when you compare that to the amount of movement the human body is capable and meant to do, it is woefully inadequate. The simplest start to designing any fitness program and getting in shape is to move more. Move comprehensively, meaning do all of the things that the human body can do. While this may seem daunting, it is pretty straightforward once you break it down to some fundamental movements that can be done with endless variety.
When it comes to the possibility of resistance training, our bodies can perform four basic movements. You can push something away from yourself using your arms. You can pull something towards you with your arms. Your lower body moves in a relatively hip-dominant or knee dominant fashion. There are also lots of secondary movements that the body can perform, like core exercises, bicep curls, and similar “isolation” exercises, but for the majority of people throughout their training lives, sticking to the basic human movements will be more than sufficient when it comes to resistance training. The secondary exercises will be used for very specific reasons at specific times for things like rehabilitation, muscular activation, or even performance needs.
The other component of fitness that is essential to incorporate in your comprehensive fitness program is some form of cardiovascular and metabolic training. Again, the simplest way to look at this is that you need to move more. Typically, “cardio” training needs to have a component of time involved. It takes time to stress the cardiovascular and metabolic systems of the body so that they adapt and get stronger and more resilient. At the most basic level, go for a walk that is longer than what you are accustomed to doing on a daily basis. Better yet, go for a run. Don’t like running, ride a bike, or swim. All you need to do is move. The best case scenario will be using a well-designed, well thought out program that considers the different variables involved in cardio training. However, this process will develop over time. The first step, as with anything is to start the process and act.
Think back to when you were a child at the park playing. Running up the steps and then down the slide, swinging on the monkey bars. Having fun without any thought towards the physical exertion you were experiencing. If you were unfortunate not to have such experiences, look back at old movies or pictures to when the playground was the preferred form of entertainment for children. Unfortunately, the fact that kids don’t physically play as much leads to adults that don’t move enough. Regardless, the thought is purely meant to help you reflect and provide a mindset to be used with your training moving forward. Exercise doesn’t need to be, and shouldn’t be a tedious process that you avoid at all cost. If that is the case, you either need to reevaluate your thoughts and beliefs associated with exercise, or you simply haven’t found something that you enjoy doing. There are endless ways to move. Find one that you like. By all means, go back to the playground and join the five year-olds if that’s what sounds best to you.