Fitness Training for the Long Haul - Part II

Life Plan for Fitness:

This is Part II in my continuing series on "Fitness Training for the Long Haul". 

I have always thought of my body as a piece of machinery like those in the factories I have seen throughout my career. These are very expensive pieces of equipment that have an important job to do. Very similar to your own body. The factory depends on these machines to keep production going on the products rolling out. One of the things that I noticed is that these machines had maintenance crews dedicated to keeping them running in tip top shape. They went to great lengths (tuning, oiling, tightening) in order for them to function at optimum level. Then it hit me, my body is really no different than these machines. I need to continually maintenance (stay in shape) my own body to keep it running at a high level. After all, if I don’t I will become sedentary, gain weight, lose flexibility and eventually fall apart. 

So the first question in designing a Life Long Plan for Fitness is to ask yourself why? What purpose do you wish to fulfill by staying in shape and what is the overall goal you seek? Is it for:

  • Weight loss
  • Flexibility
  • Stamina
  • Fight a genetic illness (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol) 
  • Strength

Sometimes you may start with one idea and it may morph into another as your training progresses and you hit different years in your life. For me it started out as a way to defend myself against the bullies, but after watching Jack LaLanne one evening on TV when I was in my 30’s, I decided right then and there that I wanted to live out a long life like Jack, but also to enjoy it by being healthy and fit. If you have never heard of Jack LaLanne I highly suggest you check out some of the superhuman feats he was able to accomplish even into his later years of life. Amazing!

Jack LaLanne towing 70 boats on his 70th birthday...handcuffed and shackled!

Jack LaLanne towing 70 boats on his 70th birthday...handcuffed and shackled!

The second question you need to figure out is what will your strategy be to keep in it for the long haul? In other words, what type(s) of routine will keep me motivated to be consistent and persistent? Will it be:

  • Strength training
  • Cardio
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Running

Or will it be a combination of the above. For my wife and I, we incorporate all of the above to balance our overall fitness program. Not only does this give us the opportunity to hit our training from different perspectives, but it definitely keeps things interesting and fresh. One of the key components in losing interest in fitness will be boredom. So I encourage you to keep it mixed up. Keep in mind that there are numerous activities to improve fitness - the key in that sentence is activity. 

Speaking of staying motivated, you may want to consider training with a partner. This is an ideal situation for those times that you don’t feel like making it to your workout. Your partner can help you through the difficult times when you have excuses why you can’t do it. In an upcoming blog I will cover 15 minute workout routines for those of you who believe you have no time to workout. For me, I enjoy working out with my wife the majority of the time. Recently I was able to partner up with my youngest son for a very grueling Cardio-strength training routine. What a great way to spend time with loved ones and get in shape to boot!

Next week I will give you the breakdown of how to get started and and keep up the momentum to "Train for the Long Haul" in Part III.