Want the ultimate six-pack? Big defined guns to impress the ladies? The Adonis beach bod? Well, you’re wasting your time reading this then, I haven’t a clue and I’m not some pop-up in your news feed which will tell you the top-five ways to get ripped. I am here though to chat about how important exercise is to your health, both physical and mental health that is.
I’ve always loved sport, it was something I was reasonably good at. Not a stand-out but certainly competitive. After I left school, I use to fit in a few games of hockey (the grass kind, not the psychotic ice kind) post hangover with a few mates but it was never serious and my beer belly happily grew throughout my twenties. It was not until I moved to Brighton, on the south coast of England, that I started to be a gym regular. My main motivation for hitting the cardio and weights then was that I weighed almost 95 kilos and 20 smokes a day made me sound like a wheezing bagpipe.
10 years on, I find myself in Sydney. I’ve ditched the gym (boring) and I now attend a TRX class 4 to 5 times a week at crack of fart in the AM. I really enjoy it. It’s 45 minutes of pain and it is bloomin early in the morning but by the time I get home, I’m awake, pumped and raring to go – much to the annoyance of sleepy eyed children and my doona loving misses. Oh and I now only weigh 80 kilos and I’ve dropped the ciggies so my lungs almost function as normal.
So, I’m probably the fittest I’ve been since 1982 and that’s a good thing. No one can argue that exercise isn’t good for you, especially as you get older. It keeps the joints functioning and the heart pumping. I do, of course, have a myriad of niggles and complaints but that does not stop me from putting on ye olde active wear of a morning.
But the real benefit is in my head. I certainly find that if I don’t exercise regularly, I can be stressed and irritable. I can also be lethargic and rather gloomy in my outlook. That short hard burst in the morning really gets my juices flowing and my energy levels up. The trusty endorphins kick in and I find clarity of thought and purpose for my day. If you think I’m talking horsedoodoo, then have a quick squiz on Google and you will see that there are pages and pages devoted to the benefits of sweaty fun for your aching brain.
I doubt very much that I’ll ever have that six-pack or the huge guns all those dudes on the beach have, but I can keep up with my sporty kids, I can walk long distances and I’m sure I could dance the night away (if my moves weren’t so much like an embarrassing dad). It can certainly be hard to drag yourself out of your warm duvet pit of a cold wintry morning but I can assure you that if you make the effort and stick with it, not only will your body thank you but your mind will bless you. Now, give me ten and no slacking.