8 Lessons in Change from Exercise

8 Lessons in Change from Exercise

I have spent the last two weeks recuperating from a shoulder surgery after being injured for half the year. The time away from exercising, a hobby which in the past four years has turned from a distant source of woe to something I look forward to on a daily basis, has given me ample time to think about the benefits of exercising. These benefits extend far beyond getting a Hot Bod or Rock Hard Six Pack Abs. The stigmatized cultural approach to the exercise obsession is that it’s an aesthetic practice, and will make you look like a celebrity or instantly become a Better Person. We’re sometimes told to exercise for the wrong reasons, to use physical discipline as an ends to something other than itself. The truth is that imposing a culturally-defined idea of vanity on something as basely beneficial as physical activity is outrageous. Lesson 1: Pursuing any goal for aesthetic or vain reasons is dangerous. First off, if you are out of shape or overweight, approaching the gym with the attitude that you want to look better will put unnecessary amount of negative pressure on you. You want to go into it with a neutral attitude, which is difficult. Do not compare yourself or hate on yourself for being overweight if you are taking steps to get in shape. Go to the gym, work hard, and it will pay off in time. Do not expect immediate results or 2 Hour Abs– those gimmicks are bullshit. The wonderful thing about treating your body with the respect and discipline it deserves is that it benefits you immediately but...