Why I started exercising, particularly, lifting weights
In October of 2003 my life changed forever.
I lost my friend, my mentor, my anchor, my daddy.
In his 61st year, he fought his final battle with disease.
In the end it was an infection and the blood thinners(for his stroke) posed a problem for a surgery to help alleviate the infection. Kidney dialyses was the only option and my dad decided not to do it. He died three days later quietly in a private hospital room.
The toughest part of it all was I did not get there in time to be by his side. I was angry, hurt, sad, and broken hearted beyond belief. I realized just how much I loved my dad after he left me that day. Watching that hurst drive away with him was the first worst day of my life.
A Beautiful lesson
Indirectly my dad opened my eyes to the risks and potential diseases that can happen from not taking care of our temples(bodies).
I made up my mind in my early 20's after his first stroke of many to start making the changes necessary to perhaps minimize my chances of hijacking the same damaging genetic pool.
I believe today my dad would be proud to see the changes I've made over the years to maintain and better my health. Often, it's too late when we realize the importance of making healthy choices.
In all fairness there wasn't as much information at my dad's finger tips when he was growing up and when you grew up in a post-war generation, you ate what you were given and food choices were more nutritional then.
The risks showed up much later in his life when he started making poor food choices. He also had a sedentary job as a truck driver. I want to be clear that I'm not speaking negative of my father, he worked VERY hard to provide for us as a father and I will always love him for that, unfortunately his body took the brunt of it.
Disease & Weight training
Weights, they are my favourite exercise. I got hooked at 22 and never looked back. They are till this day a regular part of my workout routine. I do not particularly like cardio but it is just as important.
Benefits of Weight-lifting ;
- Not only does strength training increase your physical work capacity, it also improves your ability to perform activities of daily living. You will be able to work harder and longer with the proper weight training activities.
- It improves bone density. One of the best ways you can control bone loss as you age is to add strength training into your workout plan.
- It promotes fat-free body mass with decreasing sarcopenia. The lean muscle mass that we all work so hard for decreases with age. If we don't add strength training to our routine then it will turn into fat.
- It Increases the strength of connective tissue, muscles, and tendons. This leads to improved motor performance and decreased injury risk.
- It improves your quality of life as you gaining body confidence. Strength training will not only make you strong, but will also help with managing your weight, hence avoiding or minimizing risks for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
- Lifting weights lowers your stress levels.I can attest to this, it may not be proven however, with all those endorphins being released it only makes sense.
- Muscle uses more energy than fat. The best way to explain this is also the simplest: You can use muscle as you move; you cannot “use” fat. When you walk or talk or lift, you engage your muscles, and in doing so, expend energy. Even when doing nothing at all, muscle is burning more calories than fat is. Granted, it’s a small amount, but it still counts.
- Change the shape of your body: think curves and booty's ladies! I like to feel and look good and I have no regrets for that. It's an INSIDE AND OUT thing for me. Men, it's shaping those lats and developing those strong shoulders you like to show off in those tank tops.
Where to start
So if I at least got you thinking about starting weights check out a few tips to get started. Jamie Eason is a well known Personal trainer, FigurePro and Fitness Model.
Now don't get overwhelmed at her story or routine. Starting out with just 3lb dumbbells is a start.
I also recommend seeing your family doctor first before starting any new workout or nutrition program.
I am sharing this link Jamie Eason Live Trainer not to promote this specific workout, but rather to give you some basic knowledge of weight training and what it can do for you. Make it your it your own.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to where and how you work out. I prefer to workout at home. All I have is the basics; a few barbells, dumbbells and free weight plates.
If you don't have any of these together started than just use full water bottles or soup cans, something you have a good grip on.
At home workout videos like this one Hammer & Chisel are a good option for those who don't want to be around lots of other people or intimidating atmosphere in the gym. It can also be a financial concern.
Other people prefer to be in a gym with other people round them, especially if they are brand new to weight training. You will at least get a basic introduction, but if you want them to set you up on a program you will have to pay a lot of money for it.
It's all up to you and what makes you comfortable.
Healthy for me and for my family
I know that working out and eating healthy is not a guarantee that sickness and disease will not come to your door BUT and I mean BUT, it's a possibility that you might not, I would rather not take the chance and not do anything than to do all I can to lessen the risk. If I ever do get sick I can tell you that I know its NOT because I din't take care of myself, that is empowering to me.
At my age, 46, my dad had type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and was obese. I only condition I have is 1.25+ reading glasses.
I haven doubt that exercise and eating for the most part healthy over the last 22 years is a huge contribution to my well being.
Sure, I know what your thinking, there are people overweight, smoking and drinking who are in perfect health right? I will say this, it is not the norm and their energy levels are not the same and well, I'm not playing Russian roulette with my life. The statistics are in your favour when you eat healthy and exercise. It's the majority of cases.
I want to see my grandchildren and great children one day. I have dreams and visions of roller blading with my grandchildren, seriously.
I want to live with vitality and teach those around me how to honour their bodies. It is truly a temple we've been given and it deserves respect.
Two of my teen sons are not quiet on the nutrition scale I would like them on, however, they are active and I believe one day the lessons I taught them will come back to them and that they will continue the my contribution to their children and so on and so on
In Loving Memory of my Father, William Morgan Donald Arnold. 1943-2003