Want to be as buff as Arnold Schwarzenegger? Want to have a hot body like Halle Berry? Why do most of us aspire to have the body of a celebrity? Sure, if you look like Arnold, you’ll definitely attract chicks with that machismo. If you have the assets like Halle, then you’ll have guys drooling from head to toe. Well guess what, you’ll never be like Arnold or Halle or anyone else you wish to be like because you are NOT them, period.
Here comes the cliché response. Why don’t you be yourself, be comfortable in your looks, in your weight, and in your own skin?
Physical wellness generally consists of three components: looking good, feeling well, and functioning properly. Social media, magazines, and other outside influences tend to focus and give all the spotlight to the component of looking good. We have been tricked and brainwashed to believe that we should look like celebrities because they are the epitome of physical beauty.
Sure, they look hot and sexy, after all that make-up, hundreds of pictures, hours of photo-shopping & tweaking, but their character might be bitter and repulsive. That alone, can pierce through the superficiality of physical beauty and render it unattractive. Physical beauty is part of the natural cycle of life; it will fade away eventually.
Cosmetics and other physical alterations are means of denial to the natural laws. Instead, one should work towards removing oneself from the external influences that plague our conscience and surround oneself with supportive people who respect you for who you are. Naturalign with your values and uniqueness to define your own beauty. Trust me, people can see and sniff out fakes. It will take more energy to be someone else than to simply be yourself.
“Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” – Tae Te Ching
Part of feeling well is looking great, would you agree? Remember, that is only part of the equation for physical well-being. That means, the rest of it is feeling well and functioning properly. To feel well and function normally, you will have to take back control of your life. You have the “response-ability”. You’re able to respond to any circumstance and make your own choice that is naturaligned with your principles and values.
Think back to when you were younger. How much did you enjoy the outdoors playing with your friends from dawn to dusk and being blissful and carefree? Why can’t you enjoy ourselves and be physically active like the good old days?
“James, James, you big fool! I have to work everyday, go shopping, go party, have fun, watch the kids, play video games, watch TV and movies, worry about this and that, do this, do that, blah blah blah! I don’t have time!”
The problem is not that there isn’t enough time. Physical activity is simply not on the priority list. It is the area of wellness that is commonly neglected because people tend to associate physical activity with a commitment to go to the gym (weights, treadmill). No motivation, no gym, no physical activity. People fall into this lazy mode and don’t heed to the subtle messages that their bodies are telling them. Eventually, this neglect manifests itself in a host of problems, from pains, cramps, and aches to illnesses and chronic diseases.
Oh yeah, and what happens when one is diagnosed with a chronic disease? All of his/her attention and energy will focus on ridding the body of such disease, mainly with medication, surgery, or other quick fixes. At that moment, do you think he/she will be worrying about looking like Arnold or Halle? Probably not.
There are no shortcuts to physical wellness, or in any other areas of wellness as a matter of fact. Optimal health and physical performance are long term investments. Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. It is not like the stock market where you can make short term investments and hope those quick, get-rich schemes pay off great returns.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Counter to what many of us believe, going to the gym is NOT the only way to exercise. For those who are not motivated and disciplined to hold themselves accountable and committed, it is perhaps best to hang with dedicated individuals and synergize. Be creative about exercising. Here are a few suggestions to stir that innate ingenuity dormant in you:
- Run like there’s no tomorrow
- Dance to the music
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator
- Stretch to reduce tension and increase flexibility
- Go on treks and hiking trails
- Play team sports, play catch, throw a football
- Walk more, drive less
- Walk outside during lunch breaks with friends or co-workers – get FRESH AIR!
- Bike instead of drive (if possible)
- Bike along bike paths, along the shore, in a park
- Get off one bus/train stop before your normal stop and walk home
- CALISTHENICS: body weight exercises
Calisthenics doesn’t require any weights or going to the gym. These exercises can be done anywhere! NO GYM, NO EXCUSES! Contact me if you wish to learn more about calisthenics. I’ll be glad to share what I’ve learned since this is my favorite type of exercise.
Oh! Forgot to mention. Looking good is a side effect of exercising.