Exercise has been commonplace in society for as long as most of us can remember. For some of us it is a release from our daily stresses while for others it is a burden, a chore that seems like too much of a sacrifice.
However, either way, the big question is, is it as beneficial as the majority of us think or has it become an addiction for many of us in recent years?
Firstly, let’s look at what (in my opinion) counts as effective exercise?
To really understand PROPER exercise requirements for a strong and healthy body we firstly need to firstly look at what I call ‘The PH of Exercise’
We are all familiar with the PH scale for foods – what is acidic or harmful to the body and what is alkaline or good for the body. On the same scale, not all exercise is necessarily good for the human body and it is important to get a fine balance or remain neutral.
So what do we need for this?
In my opinion, a healthy (not excessive) mix of strength, high intensity bursts, explosive speed and mobility. SIMPLE.
We are all familiar with the phrase ‘fight or flight’. As humans we are designed to hunt, gather, fight and/or sprint out of danger, plain and simple.
In the words of Mark Sisson author of The Primal Blue Print:
Lift heavy things and sprint once in a while
If you look at most fitness fads now, they are all designed on these basic principles.
- Crossfit is basically a strength and high intensity endurance programme that is smartly married with a community/family feel.
- Circuit classes and bootcamps: a mix of short duration strength training and high intensity endurance training.
- Zoo: a mix of flexibility, mobility, bodyweight strength and high intensity endurance that mimics animal movements.
- Kettlebells: strength and short term endurance.
- And so on…
Is there much difference between these fitness programs?
The simple answer is no, they all follow the same basic principles and that is why, if followed consistently they will all work.
So, back to my original question, is exercise as beneficial as the majority of us think or has it become an addiction for many of us in recent years?
For many of us we have this dying belief with exercise that the more we push ourselves, the more we endure, the more we suffer, the better it is for us while for others, exercise will always remain an uncomfortable necessity.
Certain forms of exercise have nearly become an addiction, the modern day COCAINE or HEROIN. People seem to get a great release from doing them but they may undoubtedly be playing havoc on their health. For others, it has become a daily battle of trying to motivate ourselves to do something that has been genetically built into us, however, the world always seems to get in the way – too much temptation, too much comfort, too many food supplements, pills, and diets offering quick results, too many EXCUSES… In other words, the NECESSITY TO SURVIVE is no longer the motivating factor.
We have become more domesticated and comfortable in our lives, and in turn have completely forgotten the basic principles of exercise and what is beneficial to the body.
What I mean by this is, firstly, why do we even need to give it a label, i.e. Exercise, as if it is something alien or foreign, not something that has been built into our DNA from day dot to help us survive and thrive?
Simply put, we all have our own health and fitness demons that we need to conquer.
So, on a final note – Let’s try not to change what we were genetically designed to do. Exercise does not need to be a chore or a painful experience. Once you understand the basic principles of what works best for the human body it can become exciting as you feel yourself getting stronger, fitter, more lean and all this does not require hours and hours pounding the road or in the gym.
To your health and fitness,