Exercise

This is a self-improvement post.  See all here: https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/self-improvement/

Exercise is the epitome of something that is “important but not urgent.”  Rarely does not working out any one specific time have a large impact on anything, so it is pretty easy to neglect with the demands of life.  However, few things are more critical to your success, well-being, happiness and confidence than getting regular exercise.

I grew up playing sports, but didn’t really get serious about exercising until I went to a military college.  While I’ve had some low points, I have consistently stayed in great shape now for probably the last 8 years or so.  Even while deployed to Afghanistan, working all day, every day, I found getting that workout in just made such a difference for your mood and energy levels the rest of the time.  My net productivity was far higher taking the time to workout.

I might have some drivers keeping my motivation high  that others don’t.  Being a military officer, it’s important to set the example for junior personnel you are leading.  I  have also been in work situations deployed where I was very thankful that I was strong and healthy.  In the future I would want to be the example of healthy living to my children that my parents were to me.

While I don’t really want to make this too specific (there are plenty of workout plans out there for whatever your goals are), I do have some thoughts that might help folks who are new:

Intensity matters a ton.  Way to many people just do lazy cardio and wonder why they don’t get results.  You need to find whatever motivation to push yourself that works for you.  Whether this is exercising in a group like Crossfit, or keeping a workout log and always trying to beat your last workout (this is what I do), it’s just critical that you actually keep the intensity high enough to actually stress your body.

The next piece is to pay attention to your diet, this will let you hold on to your gains.  I’ll have another post on this.

The last thing is just pick a workout that you can commit to long term and stick with it.  If you try to do something too time-consuming, you’ll burn out very quickly.  I only actually work out a few times a week, but they are intense, and pretty much only an emergency will make me skip one.

Have fun getting your sweat on!

-Dmitri

*As an FYI, my specific workout is 3 days a week of lifting, with a focus on large muscle movements (squats, deadlifts, bench, or rows) followed by isolation exercises (curls, tri pushdowns, lat raises).  Overall goal is strength (for each exercise: 4 sets, 6-12 reps per set, last set to failure, I vary weight/reps deliberately to mix it up a bit).  Try to do cardio 2 days a week which I keep pretty short, no more than a couple miles run, but really push myself.  Ideally I try to mix in a day of interval sprints (75-100yrds) with fixed rests of ~minute.

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