Time and Exercise, Pt. 1

This is my first blog post ever. Ever since I abandoned the idea of a career in academia, I haven’t written much for public consumption. Instead, I’ve written for myself, to improve my understanding of an issue that was on my mind. Whether they were related to relationships or attempts to organize my thoughts about a particular event or policy, I wrote primarily for the sake of improving my understanding of the issues involved.

As a fitness consultant, I’ve been thinking about issues and experimenting in the fields of exercise and nutrition for over twenty years. Nevertheless, it is with considerable humility and trepidation that I share my thoughts with you, dear reader. Especially since I’m well aware that the nature of the Internet will preserve these musings far into the future, even though time may prove them false or poorly articulated. My fervent wish is that it will stimulate you to think more about these issues yourself and to use those thoughts you find true or beautiful to inspire your own experimentation in fitness and nutrition.

Exercise is for Busy People Too

Last night I watched a Nova special on how Einsteinian physics has done violence to our common sense conception of time. As brilliant as the physicists on the program were, I came away more confused about modern physical theories of time then ever. But it did get me to thinking about how time relates to exercise.

The most common excuse for not exercising is lack of time. It is an excuse with which I empathize. After all, it is by the “unforgiving minute” as Kipling put it, that we measure out our lives and the things we value. And those that instruct exercise can prove just as busy and riddled with excuses as those of other professions.

We spend a good deal of time sleeping out of biological necessity. And we do spend an awful lot of time working. That’s why it’s important to find a productive purpose, a career, which we love. Life is severely diminished in time if all we have to look forward to each week are its weekends.

But when it comes to a lot of things and people in our lives, we need to “make time” for what is important, in proportion to its or their importance. Is it any wonder that in the sea of values we pursue by means of our devotion in time, some values, such as exercise get drowned out?

But there are at least two reasons why saying, “I don’t have the time” is an invalid excuse for not exercising. First, proper exercise is essential to augmenting and, in our twilight years, maintaining our vitality. Because this vitality is a cornerstone of a well-lived life, exercise is one of the values we can scarcely ignore any more then good dental hygiene.

Second, if more people understood how meager a time investment proper exercise requires-no more then 1-2 thirty minute sessions to obtain ALL of the health benefits associated with exercise, they wouldn’t use the ‘no time’ excuse card. I know it reads like quackery but that is truly all the exercise necessary to get the cardiovascular, muscular and bone strengthening benefits exercise provides. For an elaboration on this see chapter 5 in Body by Science by Dr. McGuff and John Little.

But this isn’t the only important relation between time and exercise. I’ll have more to say on this topic in my next post.

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