a website that I created to share with you my
story, a fitness autobiography. It's about the importance of
athletic activities for children and how important it is for
children to participate in sports or be physically active from an
early age. It's
about how I got started in
exercise and fitness, how I progressed to weight training and where I
Exercise during My Early Years
Ever since I was a child I have always been active in fitness and I have always loved sports both individual and team sports. It’s not because I was forced to, but rather, it’s because I have always enjoyed playing sports. I love the competitive nature of sports and the feeling you get after a good game or workout.
I can attribute my involvement in athletics to my teachers in public school and the education system. As a kid, I viewed athletic activities as fun and not as an activity that I was forced to do. I looked forward to gym and recess. I also did my best to excel in all athletic activities and be as competitive as I could be. By introducing me to exercise at an early age, it helped instill in me the need for exercise and importance of exercise throughout my life. Being physically active has become a part of my lifestyle. Exercise is an activity for which I can always find time for. Something I have now done consistently for over 40 years in my life but many people are unable to or do not want to.
For the above reasons, I feel it’s really important that schools from the early grades encourage children to take part in athletic activities. I hate seeing schools cutting athletic funding for children because they don't have the time or money or discouraging children to play sports because they are genetically too small, lack skills. Every child regardless of age or ability should be encouraged to participate in athletics for both the health, 'feel-good' and associated mental benefits.
Beginning my weight training workouts
By my very early twenties, I switched my focus from team sports and track and field to weight training. I had no real clue where to begin! So I joined a gym which had all the weight training equipment required and I also got a great deal on a multi-year discounted gym membership. I began to read a lot of weight training fitness magazines, books and I watched various fitness TV shows. I also paid attention to people at the gym who knew what they were doing or I asked them for their advice. You really do learn a lot from other people around you.
My Exercise Program
Using an excellent book called the The Weider System of Bodybuilding (it's still in print but it can be hard to get a hold of), I developed a custom weight training exercise program for myself. I figured out a workout routine: from what exercises to perform, the proper technique of each exercise to the number of sets and repetitions for each exercise. I set a goal of going to the gym 3 times per week (basically every second day) which I continue till today since that is all the time I have and I feel that I really don’t need to go there more often. I began to see results and to tweak and adjust my workouts to see what worked best for me, my metabolism and body type. Over time, I continued my 'fitness' self-education by watching videos and learning from both the pros and amateurs who train with weights.
During my twenties, I also participated in playing hockey and doing high impact aerobics along with my weight training. By the time I was 30 I had stopped doing high impact aerobics because it prevented me from gaining the muscle mass that I desired. I have a high metabolism so gaining weight for me is difficult if I do too much cardio exercise. For this reason, I now only work out with weights from November to April and rollerblade during the summer months at a cruising pace to get a little cardio exercise without losing too much weight as well as enjoying the outdoors and getting some fresh air at the same time. It’s always great to do something outdoors when I can.
Over the last ten years, I have really fine-tuned my workouts to maximize my muscle mass and strength gains. Basically I have fine tuned my workouts to meet my personal fitness, my body type and my exercise goals. I also find that as I get older, I am getting stronger and I have more muscle definition and muscle mass. I can attribute this to knowledge, perseverance and experience! I am at the point that even if I miss a workout here or there I do not feel or notice it. I just don’t make a habit of missing too many workouts because it can result in laziness or an unwillingness to exercise.
In late 2010 to 2011 I did a major revamp of my weight training workouts. I added many new weight training exercises, some full-body exercises and I have varied the exercises up a lot more by changing my workouts (types of exercises, order of exercises, etc...) from week to week.
All these changes have enabled me to stay motivated, progress with even better results and feel the best I have, even at the age of 47! I believe that age is no barrier to what you can accomplish and exercise helps me to stay healthy and feeling young except for a few grey hairs that I now have.
Would it have been easier to hire a personal trainer?
Sure it would have been a lot easier if I hired a personal trainer, but by doing it all by myself, I got a sense of satisfaction that I did it all by myself and achieved the results that I desire. Plus I learned a lot about my body and weight training in general.
There are many people in the world who are willing to take the approach that I have taken and many who aren't. It just takes time, the desire to learn and a lot of discipline.
Proper Eating Habits, Nutrition and Supplementation
The other key factor to feeling healthy and maintaining your ideal weight is to eat properly. By this I mean you need to eat healthy foods, not over-eat and most importantly, you should not skip meals especially breakfast. Occasionally, you can treat yourself to ice cream or other snack, but don't make it a craving or an over-indulgence. I also like to grow my vegetables for a portion of the year, so at least I know I am eating truely organic vegetables. This is my simple approach to nutrition.
With respect to taking supplements, I take 1 quality mult-vitamin daily (in the morning with breakfast) and Omega 3 daily as per dosage requirements. I also supplement my diet with a quality fat-free, sugar-free high protein powder and mix it with Creatine Monohydrate. I use these two supplements for optimal results.
But, I really do need some professional fitness help…
On the other hand, there are many people who don’t have the time to take the approach that I have or who wouldn’t know where to begin or they feel they would just fail or quit eventually.
For these people I highly recommend some form of professional personal training.
Exercise and nutrition program right for you
In conclusion, I hope the information that I have provided will show how important exercise is from an early age to all the years throughout your life. No matter what age you are, exercise and fitness should be a part of one's lifestyle.
How you begin or choose to exercise is up to you. You can opt to start and create your own exercise workout program. I have uploaded my exercise videos in YouTube as a playlist or view my exercise channel at YouTube.
Or, you can seek the help of a personal trainer at your local gym or join a fitness program online. Personal trainers have the knowledge and expertise to help you achieve your fitness goals and keep you motivated by varying your workouts. The choice you choose depends on your needs, your ability and motivation.
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