“Fitness isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle!”.
We’ve all heard this kind of talk. It’s usually that irritating friend who never shuts up about their Tabata workout. However, there’s a grain of truth to it: your health and fitness isn’t restricted to the gym and it can find ways of carrying over into the rest of your life (i.e. “the real world”).
We’re going to briefly cover some of the best ways that being in good shape is going to benefit the rest of your life.
This is a pretty big one, and we think that you should probably put some real weight on this for one reason: if you’re a parent, you’re a role model.
Parents’ health and fitness has a huge impact on their kids’ health. Obesity is a problem that is affecting children, which is something we all need to rally against. One of the best ways to do this is to stay in shape and provide a positive role model – the research shows that this is a big factor in the long-term health of your offspring.
Family activities are a great way of dealing with this but having a pro-health attitude is often enough to make big changes. Understanding your own diet is a great way to understand what kids need and make sure they’re being given the best health and opportunities to develop in a healthy way.
Families can also prioritise meal plans for weight loss and muscle gain. When the family goes shopping for food, and their goal is fitness then the foods that are bought tend to be purchased to hit those goals. This has a positive impact on the food found at the home.
Kids who play sport – especially in a fun context with their loved ones – are more likely to be active adults. Those few hours every week you might spend staying active with your kids has a knock-on effect on the adults they become and their risk of early death. If that’s not motivation enough to get active with the whole family, nothing will be.
Health is a big factor in productivity and has economic benefits. To start with, eating and sleeping well make you better at literally everything in life. This is pretty cool: you’ll be more productive, energised and confident.
You’re going to be less ill if you’re getting all your essential nutrients, with basic illness hours costing billions of pounds a year to companies and individuals. If you want to stay healthy, you need to put a little time and effort into diet and exercise – key components in the way that your immune system works.
This is even more important if you work a physical job. Joint health and inury are big problems for anyone that does manual labour and strength/mobility are key players. Being in better shape and dealing with those niggling injuries is a key way of preventing debilitating injury and improving your overall wellness.
Aside from being more energised and able to keep your eyes open, you can make awesome use of your leisure time.
Despite what those motivational Instagram posts say, fitness can be a hobby. If you’ve ever met anyone that’s involved in strength sports, you’ll know just how much amazing change weight-training can make to your life. It’s a great way of filling your time with a confidence-building, constructive hobby.
It’s also about finding that balance in your leisure time. Sure, you could be sat on the sofa watching something on TV, but an hour of challenging exercise isn’t going to take up all your time and it can bring huge mental and physical health benefits.
Feeling healthier, fitter and happier will also lead you to want to try new activities that involve fitness. Your confidence is higher, you feel better in your own body and playing for a sports team can add a lot to your life. A study by Rugby Warfare showed that females who played Rugby as part of a team felt 3x more confident in themselves within a year of joining and they also felt happier in general.
We’ve already seen that sitting is a risk factor all by itself, but it’s also an easy way to drift through your day without feeling like you’ve achieved anything! The reason there are so many people who won’t shut up about their workout is simple: it’s an amazing feeling from a simple hobby. That feeling is incomparably great, and definitely better than another episode of Netflix-binging.
Closing Remarks: Development Beyond Muscles
Okay, so this isn’t quite the same as the others, but it’s important.
Effective strength and endurance training bring some seriously-important character development and skills to your life. Everybody wants to talk about the health benefits, but one of the biggest things that changes when you get fit is your perception of problems and life itself.
Training builds persistence, goal-setting, planning, dedication and toughness. In the eternal words of the best wrestler ever, Dan Gable: “once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy”. The models of success that fitness develops can last with you for decades.
The character virtues that were all looking to develop come from choosing to do the hard, challenging things, like lifting weights or pushing yourself in exercise. Adversity introduces us to ourselves and It’s so rare in every other area of life – undertake some simple challenge, and you’ll grow as a person.