Having chosen to swallow the red pill...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Exercise in 5 easy instalments

Exercise in 5 easy instalments

Exercise is on of the many things in today’s hectic living that has been turned into a culture within itself. We are constantly bombarded by the media with how we should look, and this indoctrination begins from a very young age, with the likes of Barbie and Bratz and on the guy’s side Superman, He-Man and Batman. Millions and millions of pounds are spent each year in pursuit of this ideal, gym membership, personal trainers and nutritional supplements. Factor in training clothes, dieting and exercise equipment and you have a pretty hefty average household expenditure. We are all too easily lead to believe that the key to our personal happiness lies in six-pack abs or a tight butt, but that may not necessarily be the case.

On the one side you have the exercise industry, pushing body image with a 4 x per week heavy gym session and on the other side there is the medical establishment pushing a minimum 3 x 30 minutes per week for good health and longevity. This joint onslaught of enforced ideal body image and the health risk for non participation is responsible for an awful amount of guilt that matches people’s exercise spurts and dips and puts a negative spin on their sofa and chips, cake and donut moments.

As with a lot of things today, it is a case of reading between the lines and asking yourself a few questions in order to find out what is the right kind of exercise for you and hopefully to save you time and money. Questions such as:

• What is the purpose of you exercise?
• What do you need / want / what are you looking for?
• Why are you exercising in the first place?

When thinking through exercise myself, I have started and stopped; been longing for my next run and been completely lacking in motivation. I have joined the gym and left the gym, brought weights and let them get dusty, started some sports and dropped others. I all this time, I have learnt some home truths which I would like to share with you in 5 coffee-break size instalments, which I will publish over the coming weeks, so stay tuned…


  • I have found a yet greater guilt other than that of not exercising...

    The guilt of not finishing a kebab at 2am on a Saturday morning is killing me...some poor creature (I wish not to know what)has given its life that I might have 2 minutes of a greesey snack before responsibly throwing half of it away in a bin...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:25 pm  

  • Hi Paul,
    just needed a break and was happy to see that you've posted a new blog-note.
    Trust me, there are times when you would just love to have any option of doing exercise... As for me, I love to go running, since I am outside, get some fresh air, see some green around (at least I was always lucky enough to live near a park) and relax, let the air clear my brain. And of course for the good feeling you have after the exercise. that's why I do sports, not for any body-shaping what not reasons.
    now it looks as if I have to live with very limited sports options, at least during weekdays. running on the beach is possible, but only during day-time. no gym or anything the like around. diving is the only other option.
    in short, I am looking forward to receiving your suggestions on how to do exercise as coffee breaks ;-)
    greetings from dili (some people here would give a lot for james' unfinished kebab)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:36 pm  

  • Annabella, that adds to more guilt.

    It does still astounds me that I can sit here in the land of over consumption thinking about what to eat, and then if I should exercise to take away the effects of overeating, whilst there is so much poverty & hunger in the world. Yet feeling powerless to do anything...

    Hope all's well in Dili...I'd love to go diving...good exercise!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:14 pm  

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