“Let’s get into physical… Let me hear your body talk.”
Album: Physical (1981)
What’s your body saying when it talks to you? Mine’s telling me how inpatient it is with this “recovering from back surgery” thing. It wants hard exercise. It knows it’s six months from whatever recovery will resemble. It also knows we don’t use words like “full” or “complete” when we talk about back surgery. That’s a story for another newsletter.
Bottom line, my body wants to get back to “game speed.” I do, too, as long as we redefine what game speed means in today’s context. It’s going to evolve, and it’ll require long-term thinking, adjustments, listening to my body, and consulting with professionals to develop a workout routine that maintains good health. Be sure to consult with your doctor, too, before you begin an exercise program.
Some workouts pose greater risks than others. Even if you’re already exercising, you can experienced a setback when introducing an exercise that’s too new to your body. Ask me how I know. Live and learn, huh?
Still, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t believe exercise contributes to good health. And Dr. Peter Attia describes it as perhaps the most powerful “drug” we have for improving our quality of life and longevity prospects. Because the statement speaks to the potential long-term outcome, it can be easy to overlook the immediate benefits such as the dopamine and endorphin rushes.
That’s the drug commercial we need:
Imagine infrared images of someone working out, activating parts of their brain and using parts of their body in ways that contribute to their physical, mental, and emotional health. …and the accompanying voice over: Those pretty colors represent cells and neurons firing throughout your body. This is the good kind of firing, the kind we all need to thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally. The more active you are, the less likely you may need pharmaceutical solutions to maintain or restore good health. So, get off your ass. Unless, of course, you’re exercising while on your ass. This is a public service announcement. All other things equal, over time, exercise will make you:
- Feel better
- Have more energy
- Be happier
- Look better
If you’re like me, as you start to notice the physical transformation, you’ll also find you’re making better nutritional decisions because you like the new you and you want to accelerate your progress.
The old you? Slip it into the scrapbook under “before.”
The sooner you get started, the sooner you begin construction on the new and improved you. I’m laying the groundwork for that now. I want my annual physicals going forward to give me validation and cause for celebration. But what if, despite everything I’ve said, you’re still finding yourself stuck on the starting block for reasons that you can’t quite pinpoint?
Then consider starting small.
I wasn’t allowed to bend, lift anything, or exert myself for two weeks after my surgery. I was a human Faberge egg. Once I got the okay to resume some activity, I started small. Mild stretches that didn’t involve bending. Walking, though my gait was seriously compromised due to weeks of intense pain and chronic nerve irritation.
Five months later, I can power walk on level ground. Working my way back up to inclines. I can also strength train, though I’m sticking with body weight exercises for now. It feels great, and it makes me feel great to be doing something. So, if you’re able, get your body moving. Elevate your heart rate. Even if it’s for a minute, or five minutes, you’ve started. I almost always feel better when I’m working out, and I always feel better once I’ve worked out.
Do you have it in you, too?
Damned right, you do. Let me know where you are on your journey.