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Getting in Shape

Trust me on this, there is no other single thing you can do that will make you look younger, and better, than getting into shape. The paucity of fit people in our society at large makes this experiment harder to do than it should be, but try estimating the ages of the people around you in a public place-- at the supermarket, or a mall, whatever. I happen to enjoy playing this game at my kid's soccer games. Those people all have kids the same age as mine, all of us are within a fairly narrow range of ages, and the ones who look good are the ones who look fit. There are other things that help, and we'll get to talking about them, but none of them are any good unless you can get from the couch to the refrigerator and back during the commercial without losing your breath.

If you went out and got a little exercise this weekend, you also know that part of the beneficial effect of being in shape is the feeling of virtue with which you become imbued when you have engaged in purposeful exertion. And if, as is likely, you over did it a little, that's good too. Muscle soreness never killed anyone, and is easily dealt with. In fact, the way you deal with muscle soreness is very similar to the way to deal with a hangover: you want a bit of the hair of the dog.

If you are stiff today, you'll be stiffer tomorrow, but by Thursday it will have passed, and all you will have left is the negative reinforcement associated with having been in pain. Now is the moment: you must decide what time of day you are going to workout, four or preferably five days a week, and you must find a gym that you can incorporate into your day. I'm a lunchtime exercise guy, and if you can, I recommend it. Working out at lunch means that instead of taking in calories, I am burning them; it gives me a nice break, and it is time that is mostly all yours-- the demands on your evening, or your morning may be pretty inflexible, but pretty much everyone gets a lunch break.

The downside is that sometimes you don't get a lunch break. If you have the sort of job where you find that you are frequently working through lunch dealing with some sort of crisis, or the sort of job when lunch is your busiest time for whatever reason, then you have to find another slot. I have friends who swear by getting up early and working out, and I can see the appeal: you are going to have to take a shower anyway, why not get your blood moving first thing, and approach the day like a warrior? The third alternative is after work, but this, it seems to me is where the greatest likelihood of finding something else to do is presented. At the end of the day you will be tired, you will have errands, you will just want to go home. If it is all that is available, go for it, but I'd recommend keeping it your third choice.

You'll be surprised at the number of choices that are out there when you start looking for a gym. Your two main criteria are your budget and your convenience. About budget, there is little I can tell you: I like paying on a monthly basis, because it encourages me to get the use out of my membership, and obviously you have to be able to afford it. I think convenience is more important, actually: your ideal gym should be located nearby someplace you would find yourself walking or driving by at the time you are selecting, so that you can't alibi yourself as readily.

The other things you want to be looking for are easier: it should have stuff you realistically think you are going to use. If you are not a racquet sports player, you don't want to be paying for tennis courts that you won't be playing on. On the other hand, lots of tennis centers have other stuff, and may have non-tennis memberships available. A pool is nice, but you'll want to have a look at how busy it is at the times you reckon you'll be going. If there are a lot of ladies doing waterobics at the same time as you envision swimming laps, you are the one that will be going to plan B.

When I started out I tried to build up my wind (my aerobic capacity, if you will) by working on a stationary bicycle. There is cooler stuff available now, but a stationary bike is a good start. You'll want weight machines, and free weights, too, at some point, but that's pretty standard. I have belonged to all sorts of gyms, and have found that I prefer fancy to Spartan, but you need to see for yourself what's out there, and what fits into your new schedule.

This is your assignment for the week: call the gyms in the areas that fit the patter of your day, and ask if you can come and try them out. With any luck you'll get three or four days of trying out different places, and postpone the muscle soreness you know is coming into the weekend. You may be able to avoid it altogether is you are diligent. I'll check back later to see how you are doing, and offer some more help.

04:49 PM | Permalink

Comments

That's the irony of the whole article.

Posted by: seo company arizona | Mar 14, 2011 6:15:01 AM