Two Keys to Making Exercise Fit

Given the ongoing rise in health care costs, one of the wisest steps you can take is to invest your time, money and energy in preventative care. One of the most cost-effective and time efficient means of preventing disease and disability is exercise. But therein lays one of the great challenges of our era. We know exercise is necessary to ensure a longer, healthier, more vital life and yet most of us hate to exercise or don’t make the time to do so. It’s like a joke I once heard from a seminarian: everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die. Exercise may not be perceived as a near death experience by most, but many liken it to visiting the dentist or doing their taxes. In other words, for many, exercise is not inherently enjoyable.

There are two key factors for making exercise an activity that will fit within the hierarchy of all of your other values: time-efficiency and an emphasis on safety. In order to fit with all the other values you devote your time to (work, family, hobbies, charity, school, etc.) exercise should take very little of your time and it should not injure you. That is precisely why I developed the exercise approach I’ve used exclusively for over twenty years in my NY personal training service: Inner Strength Fitness Consulting. It is an approach that combines the slow, flowing motion characteristic of Tai Chi with strength training.

The combination yields a higher quality of exercise and that allows my clients to reduce the amount of time they dedicate to exercise to thirty to sixty minutes per week. Properly performed, each exercise produces benefits for your cardiovascular system, your bones and your flexibility. So all of your fitness needs are met in the span of the same thirty to sixty minutes per week.

That should be music to the ears of those that see themselves as too busy to exercise. You are pulled in different directions by your competing values and you try your best to allot the appropriate amount of time and energy to those things that matter most. Exercise, properly conceived and performed, does not make you compromise on your other values. On the contrary, it gives you more vitality that you can then bring to all of your values.

What’s more, the slow motion, Inner Strength approach to strength training also makes exercise extremely safe and virtually eliminates the risk of injury. By moving in a very slow and controlled manner, the impact forces associated with popular fitness fads like rope jumping or group cycling are eliminated. My approach to exercise will build you up without beating you up and thus leave you free to enjoy all of your other values, including recreational activities.

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