Today I'm writing about a topic I am confident I know a bit about, physical exercise. To say that exercise has been a big part of my life to date, would be an understatement. Here's a very quick summary; at school I was a very good sprinter and swimmer but a very bad footballer. At college/university I studied Physical Education and worked in Nautilus gyms as a fitness trainer for 4 years. I then taught Phys Ed at Highett High school for 4 years, before I fell in love with building.
Throughout my adult life I have always been a member of a gym or had a personal trainer. In the last 12 months I have
re-discovered swimming and “when permitted" I swim laps 2 or 3 times a week at the Prahran Pool. So, this is one topic I feel I don't need any source material to write about!
Exercising during COVID lockdowns has proven to be a real challenge and with gyms and pools closed I have resorted to leisurely walks in the park with our dog. One of the only positives to come from the Covid pandemic is that it has reinforced how important exercise is to our mental health; it can literally be a life saver.
"Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate." Your Tango
I have been a disciple of the physical fitness religion all my life (but thankfully not fanatical) and I feel I have integrated the right level of exercise into my daily life. So here is a summary of Ten things I know about exercise.
1. With any type of physical exercise, getting started is the hardest part. One of the huge benefits of exercising with someone else or having a personal trainer, is that all you really need to do is show up; the rest then seems to happen by itself.
2. Exercise uplifts your spirits and can turn a crappy day into a good day. Regular physical exercise can be a huge positive force in your life. It is virtually impossible to have good mental health without regular exercise.
3. Physical exercise makes a significant difference to how well you sleep (see my last few emails).
4. Sticking to a regular exercise routine can inspire others to do the same and is a big motivator to your children. Maintaining a healthy level of fitness is an important part of self-maintenance and is a vital part of your role as a leader (in your family, your work, and your community).
5. Exercise and being in nature are the golden double.
6. It's impossible to be good at any sport without a decent level of fitness. For me my love of snow skiing has been a huge motivation for keeping fit, and I am planning to ski for many more years (my Dad gave up skiing at the age of 86).
7. Long term physical exercise can significantly lengthen your life. (See no 6 above)
8. Listening to podcasts makes exercise more enjoyable.
9. Other beneficial side effects of regular exercise = it helps with digestion, it helps get over jet lag, it helps with relationships (especially with your wife and your children and your dog).
10. Gardening is a good form of exercise (especially at my age).
"Good things come to those who sweat." unknown
"Exercise? I thought you said extra fries!" unknown
Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and get vaccinated.