We all see the headlines in the other national magazines: “Get The Gains That You Want!” “Get Ripped By Next Week!”
So many of these articles are selling false hope to guys like you and me until we realize that these articles are encouraging us to spend hours upon hours in the gym. We then get discouraged and go back to doing what we were originally doing—nothing. These magazines sell to a self-conscious male population. “You have a problem, we have a remedy.” I don’t know about you, but between my career, sleeping, socializing, family time, home and car maintenance, and partaking in other random hobbies, I really only have about an hour and a half that I can devote to working out on a given morning.
These magazines sell to a self-conscious male population. “You have a problem, we have a remedy.”
I am probably different from many of the writers on the staff of this publication in that I really HATE the gym. The air is stagnant and stale, the monotony of doing the same motion for 10 reps for 3 sets for a few hours bores me, to be honest. The best part about going to the gym, for me, is the eye candy. This is negated by the fact that I show up at 5:30 a.m. The only time I go to the gym is when I won’t have time to get some exercise in during that evening.
Now that I have finished my rant, I want to get to the point of the article: Do whatever works for you. People do not seem to realize how many options they have available to just get out and get healthy. Heck, in industries like mine that require me to constantly go out and meet people, I can kill two birds with one stone and go take a class. In Colorado, especially, I know there are plenty of running clubs and group bike rides that like to combine networking, exercise, and beer. How could you go wrong?
People do not seem to realize how many options they have available to just get out and get healthy.
Personally, I opt for cycling to get myself out. As a mountain biker, I really enjoy not only the challenge of getting up a hill faster than I have and doing it with no rest, but also from conquering a technical downhill section. Once you master those, you can continue to challenge yourself. Got up that hill easier than last time? Shift up two gears. Crushed that downhill section last time? Do it without using your brakes as much. I like it better than the gym because it gives me a chance to explore and constantly change my surroundings.
The next idea is to join one of those running clubs. There are so many around the city. I have never liked running and cannot seem to find the motivation to do it on my own. Put me in a group of people that are running to get a reward of beer, count me in! Since these are just fun little events to do, I find that people are extremely friendly.
How about yoga? Yes, men can do yoga. It is actually a lot more difficult than one might think. It isn’t just stretching and poses; it truly gives you incredible results in both mind and body. Studies have shown it to decrease stress and the toxins that get released in stressful situations. I’m going to sound like a total granola yoga instructor, but I also noticed it changed my demeanor at work and how I deal with certain stressors. The ability to master your mind, spirit, breathing, and the specific muscle controls that each pose requires is not something we normally learn in our everyday lives.
How many sports leagues are available to us? There are things like softball, basketball, flag football, etc. For the more risky, like myself, there are full contact lacrosse and rugby leagues that you can partake in (be sure your company has great benefits). What sport did you play in high school? This is a perfect way to relive those glory days. Guys are competitive with one another. Let’s embrace that and have fun while reaping the health benefits!
Honestly, the real goal with all of this isn’t the beach body that every magazine tells you that you should have. The goal is to not become a victim of these ailments that our fellow men are currently dealing with. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, liver disease; these are no joke. While many of these may not be fully preventable, living a generally active lifestyle could decrease your risks for many of these. Let’s make a promise to ourselves as men—and gladiators—to do whatever it takes to remain healthy and vibrant. A gladiator, like myself, doesn’t want my time with loved ones to be cut short by an ailment that was preventable. I challenge you to get out and play! Do whatever works for you.
The goal is to not become a victim of these ailments that our fellow men are currently dealing with.