“You don’t need a gym to get into shape!”
I’ve heard this a lot.
To a certain extent, it’s true. In my opinion however, a gym is needed to provide the focus you need to gain a body that functions as it should on every level.
In life, we engage in 7 movement patterns.
- Press (Overhead)
- Hinge (Bend)
- Run and Walk (Gait)
Let’s take a typical office worker name Betty. Betty has decided that after years of being tied to a desk she needs to get more active. So Betty is going to focus on running in order to lose some weight and get fitter.
Great idea Betty!
Or is it?
Betty really pours on a little focus and commits to running 4 times a week for 3-5 kilometres per time. She has a view to build up her distance over time. Focus on tiny goals right? She jumps in both feet and after a while, she starts noticing that her body is getting a little sore.
Her knees are killing her. Her back after a longer run is on fire. Her hips are tightening up to the point where she can barely move.
One time out on a run, her low back pulls her up to the point where she can’t go on anymore. She can barely focus on her cadence because the pain in her back is so bad. So one sunny day, she turns around halfway through her run and heads home.
“Well that didn’t work out” she thinks to herself. She puts away the brand new running shoes she bought for herself, puts the FitBit she bought in her top drawer and returns to a sedentary lifestyle. Betty puts the aches and pains down to getting older and just decides to focus on her work.
To me, this is tragic.
It comes from now knowing that your body is a wonderful machine that operates as one unit.
Betty’s approach was one of eagerness, demonstrated by the fact the she was at full flight straight out of the gate.
All she needed was a little knowledge and focus on the following areas in her body:
- Thoracic Spine (Upper Back)
These are all weakened when a person sits down for extended periods of time. Because of this, focus is needed on all of these areas in order to properly enable Betty to be able to run the amount that she wants to run.
So how do you do this? The most efficient way of doing it is to go to a gym. Think of a the gym as a place of focus. You can focus on one area at a time, building to the point where you can use compound movements to strengthen your body to cope with a vigorous activity like running.
In addition, the act of running will also compliment what you do in the gym. The door swings both ways here.
You go to a library to focus on study. It’s the same for the gym. You’re there for one reason.
To focus on making your body better.
Through typing this, it makes me wonder how often the above scenario has been played out. How many people have tried to become more active and through not understanding how their body should operate have quit because of excessive pain?
In order to live in a more healthy, dynamic body, you cannot go past a good gym.
Try it, and apply some focus.
Focus on yourself.
Photo courtesy of Quality Magazine, Jim L. Smith (March 20th, 2018)