If It’s Hard, It’s Hard

No, not that, get your mind out of the gutter, this is a posture and exercise blog.

Recently, I wrote about habits; the need to correct bad ones while developing good ones, and how to use them to your benefit. I even teased an upcoming post on how you might go about changing and developing your habits. This is not that post.

Yesterday, in my plea for you to include resistance training in your exercise regimen, as resistance training (especially free weights) is excellent for balance and fall prevention and recovery. I offered a list of possible exercises to help you with your balance, along with the suggestion to pick one you enjoy and to just get to it.

Exercise can be broken down, categorized, and defined a million different ways. One way I like to do so is to define essential components. For me, three essential components of exercise are strength, mobility and aerobics. Seeing these as the essentials gives an insight to my love of yoga and Pilates, leastwise the yoga and Pilates that I do.

The mainstays of my workouts are Bikram Yoga, and Inferno Hot Pilates. Why these two?

Primarily because they are hard, and I love a challenge. But what makes them hard? The heat, the humidity, the intensity of the exercises. The challenge to learn to move my body in new, challenging ways, and each of them hits all three of those essential components (resistance, aerobics, mobility) head on.

End result, I’m fitter, stronger, more mobile and less inclined to injury than I was 10 years ago.

All of that probably would be enough to keep me going to the classes, on its own. But there is something more. I simply enjoy them. I like the heat, the humidity, the puddles of sweat. The struggle; the heart pounding, muscles aching, “what am I doing here?” strain of class.

And there’s the key. Did you catch it? I’ll say it again…

I simply enjoy them

Each summer I take a couple of months off yoga. The last couple summers I’ve started kayaking. This year I began running again. Next summer I plan to get my bike back on the road. All activities I enjoy, all activities which are great for fitting into the busy summer schedule when the kids are off school.

But, September has rolled around and I’m itching to get back into the Bikram torture chamber/sweat box.

And here we circle back to my advice from yesterday regarding balance exercises; pick one you like. That’s sound advice for any type of exercise; aerobic, mobility or strength. Do something you enjoy for the simple reason that you’re more likely to stick with it if you enjoy it.

Because the most essential component of exercise of all is that you actually do it.