Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In the Place Where You Are

I think it's easy for some of us to have the idea that, if we can't run six-minute miles, or knock out 55 push-ups in a minute, there's no real point in exercising.  That overlooks the fact that it takes starting at a lower level to achieve those results, genius!  I have been guilty of this type of thinking myself, sometimes not wanting to exercise if I wasn't physically running near 100%.

Unfortunately, as we age, the times when we don't feel in peak condition are going to increase, and if we don't exercise anyway, we're going to be in even worse condition- it's a continual cycle.  My back has not reacted well to my volunteering to be on baggage detail for the ride back to the States in October.  I am not used to feeling fragile, I'm used to feeling like a pocket battleship, punching well out of my weight class.  Still, doing nothing would mean I would just get flabby and even less robust, so what to do?

Tai Chi is one of the best exercise routines to add to fitness regimens for almost every age and fitness level.  If the practitioner is at a poor fitness level, Tai Chi can safely increase core strength, gently increase flexibility,  and dramatically improve balance.  If the user is already very fit, Tai Chi will enhance fitness, increasing balance and muscle control.  I've had a few Tai Chi videos, but the Matthew Cohen video is a really good introductory one, easily adaptable for more or less effort, not too complicated, and presented in a thoughtful but down to earth manner.  Click the picture for the DVD, or follow this link for the downloadable version.


Old NFO said...

Thanks JR! And an excellent point!

Don said...

I've never given Tai Chi much of a shot, although a lot of the core/balance stuff we do at my gym is probably close to it.
You make an excellent point about meeting yourself where you are. You've seen what my fitness is like, and it's easy for obesity to reinforce itself in an endless feedback loop. But the inverse holds true, too. If you get started by eating right and training with someone who knows what he's doing, then *those* behaviors will reinforce themselves, too. The stronger and more grounded you feel, the more pleasure you get out of using that strength and balance. The more capable I feel, the more I want to do.

J.R.Shirley said...

Establishing fitness routines help me stay in shape, but even in hotel rooms, there are things to do. I ran the stairs Sunday while at the Hershey Lodge. Good workout.

Yup, that's true, Don. Self-reinforcing behaviors.