Thursday, May 26, 2016

Why Exercise Matters and the Key to Fitness - Add Yoga to your Day!

I am a big fan of Mapmyrun. Huge!

It tracks all of my physical activity and it reminds me daily how my best running buddy is doing and how I compare to him.

Yes, I am competitive. Hugely! We both are. One needs to own how one is wired so that one can best understand how the body works and which work-out is best suited for one. Self-knowledge matters. Even when it comes to working out.

My buddy has made me better. He says I do the same for him. And I'm glad. There needs to be reciprocity in exercise too, after all.

I have had a really busy and eventful few months. And, holy cow!, have I loved it!

I've dedicated a lot of time, energy and resources to finding the right physical balance.

The thing is, what I've found in life so far, is that health, for the most part, is a direct byproduct of how much work you're willing to put into your body.

The thing is, this is not something you can buy over the counter or hire someone to do it for you. You just have to do it.

As of today and in 2016 alone, I've already run 799km. I'm 6 months ahead of my projection to hit 1000k in 2016.

And currently, I'm in the top 2% of all runners that are tracking their activity on Mapmyrun. More specifically, I'm #5246 out of 260,894 competitors worldwide in the You vs The Year Challenge that Under Armor is sponsoring for Mapmyrun.

By June 16th, I will have hit 1000km for 2016!

Mapmyrun is meticulously tracking and storing my workout data and I am confident my running game is "on fleek" after a few years of practice, marathons and triathlons under my belt.

Many of my family members and close friends wonder why I try so hard to track everything I do and try new physical pursuits. The answer I give to all of them is unequivocally the same every day: "it's the only way I know how to improve. I compete against myself. And I can't imagine life without competition in it."

And I do believe that working towards personal improvement is our individual moral imperative as people. Competition is at the heart of progress, after all.

I never believed in participation trophies.
I always believed in hard work, sacrifice, and the need to self-ameliorate daily.
And that's what fuels the motor.
That's what makes me work hard to move the needle every day.
And that is why I make it a point to learn from and compete with like-minded folks.

So, with close to 5 months under my belt, I believe I have found a combination of physical activity that gives me optimal health. It's taken a lot of work and a lot of resources as well as research. But I was committed to the pursuit.

Other than running every day - and I cannot imagine not running every day, or at least 6 days a week - I took up a daily practice of yoga as well. Turns out, that's exactly the secret ingredient my workout needed!

Daily activity generally consists of the following:

Option 1:

Power Yoga - Hot yoga (60 or 75 minute class)
10k on cement. 2km of the 10km are progressively uphill.
800m swimming. Laps. 600m Freestyle. 200m breast stroke

Option 2:

Power Yoga
10km on cement and gravel.
15km biking.

The following days alternate between Day 1 and Day 2.

Now, is this time-consuming?
It takes 4 hours of my time. Now, I recommend that one wake up early and take yoga at 6am so that the day can be freed up for work and family time. The rest of the activities can happen as time and schedules allow.

As I am about to turn a year older, I am happy to report that I have never felt healthier. Or better.

If I could bottle how it feels after I'm done with my workouts, I'd have the secret to happiness!

Man, does it ever feel great!

Exercise helps curb stress, gain physical strength, and added overall clarity. So, why isn't everyone doing it?

Well, in addition to it being labor-intensive, it requires a lot of additional planning and added time management. And this is why I decided to make physical activity as important as anything else in life. Once I did that, everything else fell into place.

And, as I write this today, I can vouch that if you keep investing in your health and commit to your physical exercise the way you commit to your work, family and loved ones, you will live a qualitative and happy life.

Time to sign off and get the right amount of rest. Rest, after all, has to go hand in hand with physical effort.


Anonymous said...

It's hard to find the time for all of that activity though.
I guess I could sleep less but I find it hard to sacrifice some zzzz's for some namaste....
Maybe I should though.
I feel like a slacker now! ;)

B.R. said...

Just a few minutes into a yoga class, you'll feel so good you won't think about sleeping again. But then again, I'm not much of a sleeper so I might be a tad biased. :)
Early morning yoga is really quite special though!

Anonymous said...

I'm quickly becoming a hot yoga fan too!

B.R. said...

Oh, I'm glad to hear it. :) I find hot yoga to have a bigger impact on my body than a 10km run. A great workout!