There have been a lot of ups and downs in the past few weeks. The fact of the matter is, that is how life works. It is not much different when it comes to fitness. There are seasons of training and seasons of survival, seasons of sickness and seasons of new life. Seasons are ok. An athlete’s fitness regimen is much more different in the off season than it is in season and during pre-season. Ultimately, it is a good thing for us to have “seasons”.
Dr. Kenneth Cooper was a big influence during my college studies and when I was working in the field. In his book, “Start Strong, Finish Strong” he writes about what fitness should look like for a lifetime — no matter what the season. As I was revisiting this book recently, this statement struck me (probably because my next birthday will be a big one): “After age thirty, the unattended human body begins to fall apart.” There is a lot of living to be done after age 30, so God did not intend to create a body that falls apart after this many years. The key word in that statement is unattended. The human body was not meant to be unattended. It was created to be active and nourished and it is our responsibility to attend to it.
So the question is, how do we attend to the human body adequately in all seasons of life? I believe the answer has a lot to do with our habits. What we do day in and day out matters. Cooper writes, “Daily acts, no matter how small, are the key to forming permanent habits.” The goal is forming habits that will take you through the ups and downs of life. Having an off season and a training season are ok, but be sure to have a lifestyle full of healthy habits that help the body to stay strong.
Dr. Cooper is known for telling Americans to walk the dog…even if you don’t have one. This week we are dog-sitting and the whole family has enjoyed the exercise we have gotten through dog-walking. This is a great habit to form: after dinner “dog” walks — even for the dog-less.
|It’s been 4 years since we had a dog. We miss Ginger!|