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The Performance Life

The World is Your Gym

iwona_kellie / flickr

I was listening to Paul Chek's nutrition CDs the other day, and Chek used the following quote from a nutritionist. "Most people are dead at 35, they just walk around for another 30 to 40 more years." The quote was intended to apply to most adults from a nutritional standpoint. I find the point both amusing and accurate from a physical standpoint also. By 35, most of the damage is done, and without an intensive exercise program, that's difficult to reverse.

The truth is that quality of life begins to deteriorate after 30 for many people due to lack of exercise. Activities that were once simple and normal become increasingly difficult. The sad part is that the deterioration doesn't become readily apparent until the 50s or 60s, and at this point it gets much harder to change. The baby boomers are fueling the personal-training business in an attempt to improve not only the length of their life but the quality. But the time to fight back is right now. Do not wait until you are 50, and try to undo 20 years of damage.

Truth is, obesity, neck pain, back pain and so many of the debilitating conditions that we suffer from in adulthood are entirely preventable. Don't make excuses. You only need about 30 minutes, three days a week. Try to get five minutes of warm-up, 10 minutes of total body strength training, and 15 minutes of cardiovascular work.

If you can do a squat-to-press along with some push-ups (modified for your ability) and some assisted chin-ups, all you need is an ab exercise and you're done. After those 15 minutes of cardiovascular work, you've taken a big step forward.

In your cardiovascular work, strive to do more work in less time. It's the effort that's important, not the length of your workout. The problem is that intensity is uncomfortable and duration is easy. It's simple to just go easy and go longer. I want you to go harder.

Bottom line: Don't walk around in a dying body. We would never treat our cars the way we treat our bodies. Imagine never changing the oil, using the cheapest possible gas, and driving until the tires are bald. Unfortunately this is the way we treat our bodies. The only problem is that we can't buy a new body after we ruin the old one. Sure, the damage may be irreversible, but we need to reverse it with exercise instead of drugs.

Exercise is the most powerful wellness drug on the planet. It's just difficult to take. Try taking a good dose of exercise three times a week, and you might be able to throw away the Lipitor and the blood pressure medicine, and all the other junk.

One of my favorite quotes is, "The best time to plant a tree was three years ago. The next best time is today." Don't wait another day to begin an exercise program. Start today.

Michael Boyle is one of the world’s leading experts in the area of performance enhancement and the owner of StrengthCoach.com. He is also the author of Functional Training for Sports.

Tags: Attitude, Training, Motivation, Outdoor Recreation, Energy, Family, Longevity, Health, Leisure Time, Weekend