More Than Just Recreation
Personal fitness has been a matter of life and death for the entirety of human history, minus the last century or so.
It determined whether or not you were able to plow the fields or hunt in order to eat, it determined whether or not you could cut down the fire wood necessary to keep your home heated in the winter, and it determined whether or not you were able to defend yourself and your family against threats.
Today, fitness is portrayed almost exclusively as recreation. The problem with viewing fitness as recreation is that it is still a matter of life and death.
It might not be the determining factor today or tomorrow. But it could be.
You might find yourself in a situation in which your current fitness level determines whether or not you, or someone you care about, or a fellow citizen dies or suffers serious harm.
If necessary would you be able to run fast enough or far enough to escape a serious threat? Would you be able to carry someone to safety? Would you be able to lift up something heavy to free someone who is trapped? If these aren’t things you train regularly then the answer is: no, you wouldn’t be able to.
Even if you aren’t faced with an immediate threat, eventually the inertia of a lack of physical fitness will take its toll. Humans lose about 3%-5% of their muscle and about 10%-15% of their strength per decade after age 30.
Of course, you can also build and develop strength over that time as well. But if you do nothing, you can expect to see a serious decline in your overall fitness and functionality as you age.
You can imagine what this constant decrease is like for someone who already has a low level of strength, muscularity, and overall fitness. Eventually they are unable to perform basic functions of life.
They’ve spent their whole life making everything else a priority other than their health.
They retire at 65, get 10-15 years of a physically inactive retirement and then one day in their mid to late 70’s their heart stops beating and they die. I’m not trying to be dramatic. The average life expectancy in America is 78 years old and heart disease is the most common cause of death.
What I just described is the most common way Americans die. Those who make it past 78 and don’t die of heart disease will likely see the continual decline of their physical and mental state until they are physically or mentally unable to take care of themselves. Isn’t that something great to look forward to?
As depressing as all that is, that’s just the impact that failing to take care of your body has on your death. Think about all the life if you miss out on it as well.
The good news is that that’s not the way it has to be but you’ll need to think differently about fitness to prevent it.
The problem with seeing fitness as recreation is that recreational activities are the first things thrown out whenever we meet some type of resistance.
That’s why you hit the snooze button in the morning instead of getting out of bed. It’s why you’ll skip training if a business opportunity pops up. It’s why you look for the cheapest training options but want the best phone, car, clothes, or whatever other material possession you find more important than your body.
It’s why getting in shape is always something you plan on getting around to doing as soon as you finish….whatever.
That way of thinking leads to an unhealthy, unfit body that limits your life and leads to an early death.
Fitness is not merely recreation.
Change the way you view fitness and start seeing it for what it really is…life or death.