Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Develop the Will to Survive

Physical fitness is something almost everyone takes for granted when they are young and the loss of it is also taken for granted as we age. It is something that happens very slowly and imperceptibly as time passes - and then all of a sudden we look at ourselves and we are old, fat and decrepit. Sometimes I will look at an older person shuffling along and wonder if they had done things differently would they be more sprightly. It’s impossible to know yet the loss of capability in most cases must have occurred gradually. It’s the same with very fat people, they gradually become larger and larger.

Of course disease often plays a large role in the degradation of human performance. As one ages it becomes harder and harder to stay fit. Young people often never need to worry about their health. They feel immortal and they can practically eat anything. Yet the Active Survivalist will not have this advantage and staying trim and fit will become a challenge for the rest of their lives. Disease may well come rearing its ugly head so it’s important to stay in peak physical fitness for as long as possible. It makes sense to me that you need to keep your body strong and flexible and that the only way to do that is to regularly exercise. Not only exercise but to push yourself just that little bit harder. It’s not going to be easy because your body is not what it was and training for the rest of your life is, hopefully, going to be a very long time.

So equally as important as physical fitness is a strong will to survive. This should be a no brainer because if you are approaching fifty or beyond you are running out of time. This is the last chance to get your body back into shape and ready for the rigors that lay ahead. You want to give yourself the best possible chance at it so embrace diet and exercise with one hundred percent commitment.

Yet how to maintain that will to survive in the best possible shape? Forming an exercise habit through sheer dogged consistency would be a good start. Buy good gear to train in. Record your exercise progress and achievements. Overcome your natural laziness. Sometimes when you head out for your morning run you wont feel like doing it. Never take any notice of your first feelings in the morning. Sometimes I feel weak as I head out while everyone else is still asleep and I wonder if I should have a rest day, yet often this feeling passes and I feel terrific and finish my morning routines feeling better than ever. There have been times when the feeling of weakness hasn’t passed and I will listen to it then, but only after ignoring it for a while. A lot of people give up at the first sign of trouble and this is a mistake.

If you find yourself feeling absolutely and stunningly terrific and super strong this is a cause for concern. Usually it means that night you will come down with a cold or worse. Apparently this is a known medical phenomenon, possible something to do with the body going into hyper drive to combat the first wave of infection. The moral of this story is that the normal feeling is one of slight lousiness and not super terrificness so expect it to be a bit of a struggle.

Like getting fat and getting old physical fitness is a gradual process. Determine to get just a little better everyday. Think of it as a very long-term project – a lifestyle.

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