Taking Care of Your Body is a Lot Like Raking the Yard (My Fitness Journey – Vertex Fitness Diary 16)
Last week, I took a week off. It was for a good reason–my husband and I had the final showing for a house we are looking to buy at the same time that our workout was scheduled. We put in an offer this week, and we are well on our way to being first time homebuyers! Of course, taking a week off doesn’t do anything good for your body.
The truth is, the benefits of strength training are not going to be immediately obvious to you every minute of every week that you’re working out. You may gradually notice a few noticeable differences, like performing a certain activity with ease that you once struggled with. Your new normal won’t necessarily make you feel like Wonder Woman all day every day. Your life won’t magically transform into a #fitnessinspo Pinterest board. But–the benefits go so much farther than skin deep. You’ll be healthier, less prone to disease, and you might live longer.
These benefits don’t always seem sexy, but they’re worth it. As humans, it’s really natural to want to take the path of least resistance. It’s a survival mechanism, after all–if you can conserve calories, you’ll have the energy to outrun a saber tooth tiger or ward off starvation if you don’t find food for a while. But we don’t live lives like that anymore–calories are more than readily available, and we don’t need strength or stamina for survival. And yet our bodies still hoard energy like it’s going out of style. That’s why we need to provide our bodies with a little extra stimulation that we’re not getting naturally to be our best and stay healthy.
Sometimes, taking care of yourself can seem just as monotonous as taking care of a yard. You put the effort in week after week, but you’ll never really “get there”. After all, in another week, your yard will need to get raked again, and you’ll need to jump on the shoulder press machine. But, my husband and I will take care of the yard we’re about to own because we will take pride in our home and in keeping it a beautiful, safe space for the family we want to grow. In the same way, you take care of your body because you only get one, and you need to keep it strong and healthy to enjoy everything that life has to offer. Besides–some people even grow to enjoy yard work! It’s a mindfulness activity that allows you to reconnect with your body in a world where disconnection is the norm. Working out is very much the same. Not only that, but you can always tell the difference between a yard–and a body–that has been properly cared for. It makes them both a nice place to live.