This is a continuation from my series "Training for the Long Haul" from Part II.
First things first...
Before conducting any type of training I would suggest taking an assessment of where you are at today. This is usually in the form of a physical performed by a licensed physician. This needs to be done especially if you haven’t exercised recently or are just getting into it. Do not pass Go! Make the appointment now to give yourself a good base line.
The next couple of things you will need to figure out are where will I be exercising and when will I be exercising? It is crucial that you develop a scheduled routine of when you will be working out. Some people workout 2 days a week and some people workout 7 days a week. It is all based on your goals, your schedule, and your commitment. I personally workout hard 3-4 days a week and maybe supplement that with a day of biking, swimming or walking. This is enough for my wife and I to maintain our health. Now grab a pair of gym shorts, a cotton tee-shirt, and a pair of comfortable tennis shoes and let’s figure out where we can burn off some sweat.
A lot of people like to join a gym since it offers all of the equipment that you will need without putting out a huge investment in your own equipment. Plus it provides you a reason to get off of your butt and train. You may have a partner who is depending on you showing up, or your new found friends at the gym may be looking forward to seeing you for a quick hello. Whatever it is, if this is what it takes to develop the discipline necessary to consistently train, I am highly in favor of you joining today.
The gym environment will provide you with a variety of equipment from cardio equipment (aka. treadmill, stationary bike) to a multitude of free weights and machines that will torture (in a good way) your body. The bigger ones will also offer a personal trainer service (for a fee) that can help get you started if you are new to fitness training. If you are intimidated by the equipment, use your own body as a weight until you become more acquainted with the equipment. For now it is about the routine of getting to the gym and the motivation of others with the same goal as you. This is a positive environment for gaining momentum in your fitness program.
Sometimes life just gets in the way, or you can't focus at the gym like you can at a home gym. If you are like me, I really enjoy training in my home gym and supplementing the paid gym on occasion. Especially when it is 100 degrees outside since I train in the garage. Over the years I have collected various equipment, trying to stay away from fads and sticking with the basics. In a later blog I will cover the “Essentials of a Home Gym”, but for now will focus on what benefits it provides. Here are some of the reasons you may want to consider working out at home:
- Tight time schedule (you can get right to it)
- Can’t justify the expense of a gym membership
- Self-conscious of where your progress is today
- Don’t like waiting on machines, being distracted, or hit on at a gym
- Like to experiment on various routines and enjoy the solitude of your own environment
- Prefer the idea of having your own equipment and having easy access to it
- Enjoy working out in the nude (just kidding, I don’t recommend)
The most important thing for training for the long haul is to just get started and find something you enjoy doing to stay fit. No excuses, no bullshit - your body is the only one you have and were given to take care of. Make a commitment to staying in shape for the rest of your life and you will reap many rewards beyond your current capacity to realize it today. I am very serious about staying fit well into my 90’s and have a plan to attain that. Do you?