Some people workout for their appearance, some for athletic performance, some because we just love to, and some to save their lives. When I say save their lives it has more than one meaning. Yes, some people have been given an ultimatum by their doctor- “start exercising and change your diet or die fast.” But also because some people face life or death risky situations daily, like police and deputies, firefighters, and members of the armed forces. What about you?
In one of his recent blog posts fitness advocate Freddie McCloud asked the question "Could you save yourself?" He used the cliff hanger scenario that you see in movies where the hero is hanging from the edge of a cliff and has to pull himself up to safety. Then he goes on to saving the heroine and together they conquer all evil and save the world, right? Anyways, Freddie who used to be 280 pounds, but not solid muscle at the time, knew before getting serious about improving his fitness that his answer was no. He was too heavy to perform a pull up. Fortunately now he can.
Dangling from a cliff is just one scenario though. Here is something to think about, whether you workout or not, if your life depended upon your level of health, fitness, and strength would you be able to prevent your own death? Imagine yourself in a terrifying scenario such as this: You're in a high rise building, let's say on the forty fourth floor. Suddenly there's a series of explosions, you feel the building shake and hear people screaming to run and get out. The power is out. The elevators are useless. You know you need to get out of that building, and fast. There's a mad rush to the stairs, people are panicking, pushing others out of their way. You are now facing a descent of forty four floors to safety. Could you make it? Really think about how fit and healthy you are. Could your heart handle the rush of adrenalin? Do you have the cardiovascular endurance to run all the way to safety? What would happen if you got to a certain point where the stairs were destroyed. The only way to progress is by climbing down holding onto railings. Are you strong enough? Do you have the physical endurance, the mental strength, the will, and the confidence to not give up? Or do you stay put and possibly lose your life and put others at risk of losing theirs?
You and I could come up with dozens of other scenarios where your health and well being are at risk- a building fire, hostage situation, shipwreck, being chased by a pack of dogs. You might be thinking, "yeah, but that's not going to ever happen to me." And hopefully that's the truth. But what if? When you exercise, are you taking care of all the components of fitness? Are you including strength training for strength, not just aesthetics? Are you doing cardio to help make your heart stronger and healthier, not just because you want the caloric deficit? Are you making sure to stretch regularly so you don't easily strain a muscle when the time comes it has to work outside of the range of motion you are accustomed to exercising in? Are you going outside of your comfort zone to see how much you can handle, mentally more so than physically, at least occasionally? Are you doing a variety of exercises- body weight, heavy external resistance, high reps, static holds for time, high intensity, applying compound resistance, complex patterns to improve your balance and agility? Do you have the physical strength to handle your own body weight plus some external force pushing, pulling and/or twisting against you? Could you run to safety holding some very precious cargo, like maybe your child?
Next time you get ready to workout, regardless of what your goals are, ask yourself if your program is helping you live a longer life in more than one way.
You can read Freddie McCloud's original post Could you save yourself by visiting his blog- www.byebyebigguy.com