The Religion of Exercise

December 18, 2008

Some people prefer Yoga over Pilates.

Some people prefer basketball over football.

Some people prefer to weight lift and some prefer to swim.

After all, exercise should be a preference, right?

Well...sort of.

Some people are Christian.

Some people are Jewish.

Some people are Islamic.

Each of these religions are a preference. You can quit one and join another and go back again anytime you want to. Whatever suits your fancy. (OK some religions won't let you do that but still...) All have their differences. But what they all have in common is a belief - a faith - in God.

And yes, there are always the fanatics who will scream "My religion is the right religion and their religion is the wrong one!"

Yawn. (And there are plenty of these sorts of folks in the religion of exercise as well.)

Anyone with half a heart knows that how you choose to show faith and love for God - if you believe in God that is - is A.O.K.

How you choose to exercise is also A.O.K. Save for one eensy-weensy caveat. What if your preference for exercise is NOT giving you the benefits you want or believe you are getting?

If your current religion isn't doing it for you, you switch. Lot's of people do this and do it successfully. What people look for in religion is usually peace, harmony, contentment, a feeling of connectedness to God and humanity. Usually.

What are we looking for when we exercise? Fun? Sure, but fun can be had without exercise.

Fat loss? For most of us, absolutely. But fat loss is best accomplished by eating correctly. Exercise has little to do with this goal.

Exercise should bestow upon us the very things that are being robbed or taken from us. I mean, if someone stole your wallet, you'd want it back right? And right away, yes? You certainly don't want to mess around searching all over creation to find it. If you knew how to get it back swiftly, safely and efficiently you'd take that route, no?

OK then. Here is what is stolen from us as we age:

  1. Muscle mass
  2. Bone mass
  3. Strength
  4. Endurance

When all this happens, many other health markers slowly decline. Knowing this, how can you get all these things back swiftly, safely and efficiently? By strength training - weight lifting - resistance training. All one and the same.

You don't go looking for a lost key in a place where you didn't lose it just because the light is better there.

Don't look to forms of exercise to replace what growing older is stealing from you that can't do the job or do it slowly, dangerouly and inefficiently.

If you are religious about your exercise program but are not receiving the aforementioned benefits, it might be time to find a new one - one that will give you what you are looking for.

And now that you know what that is.