How do you decide what to do? Are you constantly doing routines that trainers, friends, and other people tell you to do? Are you excited about your fitness routine, or does it seem like a chore?
Personally, I love bodyweight training. I love Calisthenics. I also enjoy riding my bike, walking, and hiking. I like to use resistance bands and kettlebells as well. It is easy for me to be consistent with my personal fitness because I find activities that I like. Because I like them, it is easy for me to be consistent. By liking it, it is important to understand that I am committed to growing, progressing, and getting better at the movement and activities I choose. Too much variety in the routine makes it difficult to improve. I personally believe there should be some variety as well as consistency. If we constantly change our exercise routines, then it can be difficult to develop some degree of mastery. So, I believe it is important to choose activities and movement that you like, so that it will be easier and more motivating for you to work towards mastery.
I beleive in holistic fitness. By this I mean working on your strength, endurance, flexibility, and hand eye coordination. People might only do cardio, or strength training, or yoga. I know people that do spartan races but cannot do one pull up. I know people who lift weights and sometimes get winded going up stairs. I know people who do Yoga and cannot do one push up. I believe culitivating all of these aspects can benefit us in the long run.
Some of these categories will be easy for you as you will have a natural inclination towards one of these categories. The challenge will be to find activities in categories you might not be excited about. Strength training, for example is important. In terms of body composition, you either have more lean mass or more fat. Strength training can not only improve your musculuature, but it can promote good bone density, metabilism and could improve testosterone levels.
Cardio training can help to burn fat, drive up ketosis, train your respiratory and cardiovascular system, and can help grow new neurons. John Medina is one researcher that has talked about cardio training boosting your brain power. However, just like strength training, excess is not good. The wasting of muscle as we age signifcantly decreases quality of living in older people. With that said, it is important to build some muscle and endurance capacity.
Flexibility and mobility is another dynamic to consider. The inability to move your arms in a good position, stick neck, lower back pain, and tight hips and ankles can significantly decrease our quality of living. Being mindful of our joints, how they feel, and improving their ability to move as well as improving our flexibility with simple stretching regimens can benefit all of us. Only doing stretching and mobility can leave other deficits, however. Again, the idea here is for us to not myopically focus on one aspect. The challenge for all of us is try fall in love with different types of movements that will help us develop all of these aspects to some degree.
The other category here is hand eye coordiation. Tripping over your, and just being generally clutsy can leave one accident prone. Learning to improve your atheleticism can feel great and can help you do better at other sports and activities. You do not have to be a super athelete or natually gifted to improve your athetlic ability. As someone who was not a natural athelete, you have hope. To put this another way, some of the greatest atheletes across all professional sports worked their ass off to improve themselves. As a matter of practicality, find a sport or activity that will be fun with you, and commit to improving. Practice can get mundane, but when you fall in love with a sport or activity, it will be much easier for you to stay motivated and persevere.
So here is your call to action. Focus on holistic fitness: develop strength, endurance, flexibility, mobility, and hand eye coordnation (athelticism). Think of this as an exploration project. Learn to fall in love with a variety of activites, sports, and styles of training that will be easy for you to commit to, be consistent, and make progress towards masterty. Reward yourself for
progress instead of outcome. The old cliche life is a journey, not a destination has never been more true. You are the creator of your own health. You have the power to make choices that you can love. Keep to this mindset of making choices for movement you will learn to love. If you continue to approach your fitness in terms of negative emotions and statements such as I hate this, I do not like that, this sucks, it is boring, etc… then you will not make progress. Focus on solutions! What can I do that I will love? You will need to try things and be patient until you figure this out. Keeping going and persevere. Your fitness journey will be awesome.