Many exercise systems push you to achieve your best. They want to help you get into the best shape of your life, and they will push you to get there.
They push you to look and feel better, get stronger, leaner, faster and harder.
Some people need someone pushing them constantly. Some people won’t work out unless they have someone pushing them to do it.
Other people, can’t be pushed when it comes to exercise. Some people, I believe most people, need gentle guidance when it comes to exercise and movement, when it comes to reducing pain and increasing activity.
Some people can’t push themselves hard otherwise they will flare an old injury. Some people are already in too much pain and will injure themselves very easily if they push themselves too hard. The result of these types of people pushing themselves too hard when it comes to physical activity is injury, less activity due to the injury, and more pain due to the injury and lack of activity.
Just as some people have the genetics and the physical history to be able to get into great shape and be lean, strong and ripped with 6 pack abdominals, other people have a history of injury and joint pain. Many people have genetics that cause their joints and muscles to easily flare. These people might be diagnosed with fibromyalgia or some other autoimmune disorder.
If you are prone to injury, easily flare, have had a diagnosis, or even the mention of Fibromyalgia or any other autoimmune disease (whether specific or non specific), then heavy, hard core exercising is not for you. If you fit into this category, then you will hurt yourself if you try to exercise too hard.
Unfortunately, there are many exercise systems out there that have a lot invested in convincing you that anyone can get a ripped, lean, toned physique, no matter your past medical history or how much you weigh. They want to convince you that it is possible for anyone to get into great shape, because then you’ll buy their exercise system thinking that their system will be the one that will finally get you into shape.
In the same vein there are also diet supplement companies out there that would lead you to believe that if take their supplement, then you will magically shed pounds.
I am here to tell you that there is no magic pill, or exercise system, that will get you ripped and in supermodel shape, if you don’t have the right genetics, if you haven’t exercised in over 10 years consistently, have never been of a normal weight, have joint pain and arthritis, have an autoimmune disease or fibromyalgia, or many other complicating factors.
As we age, the goal with exercise is to feel better, rather than just to look good and attract a mate. The goal is to improve one’s health. Ideally live longer, and feel better while you are doing it.
For most people, if you haven’t exercised for your entire life, then you are not going to get a 20 year old’s physique when you are in your 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s, and on up.
I think the goal with exercising for most people should be to improve one’s quality of life. We all want to keep doing the activities that we love. Especially once we retire and have the time to do the activities that we enjoy, we want to be physically able to do it. That starts now.
Even if you are in your 30’s, you are dictating now how you will feel when you retire. You are determining now how you will feel later in life. Will you be able to chase after your grandchildren? You are determining that right now.
All of the information out there on aging is saying that we are going to live longer than our parents did. I only want to do this if I feel good and am able to do the activities that I love.
If I don’t exercise and take care of myself now, then there is very little chance of me living a long life while feeling good. If I do take care of myself now, then I am giving myself every chance possible of being physically active when I get older. I am giving myself the best chance possible for staying healthy and keeping my mind and body functioning.
There are all reasons why you want to exercise within your own limitations. As you get older, if you try to exercise like you did when you were 20, then you will hurt yourself. If you try to lift heavy weights, you will hurt yourself more easily than you did when you were 20. If you try to keep up with that 20-year-old who is able to do every move in the exercise class and you aren’t in shape to do it, you will injure yourself.
If you listen to your common sense, you won’t be steered wrong. Listen to your what your body is telling you. Most of the time when you are doing something inappropriate for your body, your know that it could hurt you. It is your ego that is telling you that you should be able to do what that 20-year-old is doing next to you. Don’t listen to your ego.
In yoga, they tell you to stay within your own mat. Don’t look at what someone else is doing. It doesn’t matter what someone else is doing. Focus on yourself. Focus on what you can do. If you try to keep up with others, you will injure yourself.
By comparing yourself to others in a gym or exercise class, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. That other person will not have the same history of injury as you do. That person does not have the same genetic makeup as you do.
Maybe that person genetically has less body fat than you do and that allows that person to look lean and ripped from not exercising hard.
Maybe that other person is an ex college athlete whose genetics allow him or her to go hard and not get injured.
Maybe that other person has medical issues but has learned how to manage them through exercise and healthy eating and now doesn’t flare as easily as you may.
The point is that you never know what someone’s past is, and what they have been through. Just as no one knows your personal journey, except you.
That is why you can’t compare yourself to anyone else, especially when it comes to health and exercise. If you do, you’ll only end up disappointed.
If you exercise within your own limits, then you will give yourself the best chance possible of achieving your best body, and feeling the best that you can. You may not end up being a ripped, lean, tanned and toned societal ideal of beauty, but you will live longer, feel better, have less health issues, spend less on health care, and be able to do the activities that you want to do.
Use common sense when exercising and eating right. Stay within your own physical limitations. That is the Pain Free Way.