Don't worry about "it", just do something!

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Contributing writer Vince Nance encourages you to find fitness wherever you can.

Get up.

Our ancestors didn’t live their lives with the intention of “burning calories” or “getting in shape”.  They didn’t do pushups or sit ups, but they did push things and sit up.  They didn’t have stair machines - but they did have stairs.  They didn’t have treadmills, but they ran.  They didn’t have pools, but they swam.  They didn’t have ipods, but they had songs.  They didn’t have pull up bars, but they climbed.  They didn’t have “weights”, but they lifted things.

All of our advances in fitness technology have done some amazing things for our understanding of health and exercise, but it’s important to remember that there was a time when they didn’t exist - and we weren’t all morbidly obese without them. 

One of my favorite quotes is, “If it’s important, you’ll find a way.  If not, you’ll find an excuse.”  Well, I think that our intricate network of technology, memberships, supplements, etc can be as much of an obstruction as they are a tool.  How many times have we all used a lack of technology, equipment, access, or time to justify lethargy?  The bottom line is that you don’t NEED all of the toys, trinkets, and tech.  All you need is a few minutes, a cubic meter or so of space, and a decision to move - everything else is a detail.  Don’t let your goals get lost in the details. 

We all have hours and hours a day when we’re doing nothing - literally standing around wishing that something was happening faster, ending sooner, already here, killing time, checking our watches, surfing the Internet, checking our makeup, or rereading messages.  The problem is that those “hours and hours” are broken up into 2, 5, and 10 minute segments.  Our ancestors moved - pretty much constantly - from the time they woke up until they went to sleep.  We evolved to eat ENOUGH food (and  the quality, quantity, and type of food you’re eating is highly significant, but I digress...), and DO lots and lots of things with our bodies.  Being “fit” is no more than returning to the environment in which your genetics succeeded.  What’s my point?  MOVE MORE.  How?  Do it in small doses.  

You don’t NEED a solid 2 hour block of time to start pursuing your fitness goals.  You don’t NEED a gym membership, or a new credit card to buy all of the drugs and chemical powders that plenty of people will tell you that you NEED.  These prerequisites are all imaginary.  MOVE!!!  Go for a walk, take the stairs, do calf raises or curl your groceries in the elevator or hallway, do some pushups before lunch, do 10 squats in the bathroom before your shower, do 5 minutes of Tai Chi or yoga outside or on a roof once a day, lunge walk to your car or house, do a pullup or hang from anything you can get your hands around that won’t break, keep two bottles of water and do some simple shoulder exercises for a minute or two, do sit ups or crunches whenever a commercial comes on, do iron chair against a wall when you’re bored - WHATEVER YOU CAN!

A lot of people develop formulas for what works and what doesn’t, what is worth it and what isn’t, and these formulas are either irrelevant, distracting or just plain bullshit.  Something will always be better than nothing.  Suppose there are two versions of yourself.  One version does some exercises every day for a year, whenever they can, and eats as healthy as they can.  The other version does no exercises because they can’t afford the time to do a “real” workout and don’t bother caring about what they eat because they can’t go 100% vegan/organic/raw food diet yet.  Which version do you suppose will have less fat and more muscle?  Which version will feel more energetic in the morning?  Which version will sleep better and look more vibrant?  Which version is more likely to take the next step in their fitness goals?  Which version is more likely to even HAVE fitness goals?

I’m not selling anything.  If you find that you need something - buy it.  If having a gym membership or pool access or taking a class is available, I certainly think that’s a great idea.  But don’t think for a second that just because you can’t do everything, you can’t do anything.  You can do something, right now, today - to improve your fitness.  And it won’t take two hours, any money, or a commute.  Just do something.


-Vince Nance-

Vince Nance is a Brazilian jiujitsu and MMA fighter, rock climber, women’s self defense instructor, writer, creative consultant, English teacher, and Ultimate Frisbee player in Busan, South Korea.