Since a lot of the guys that I box with are most likely going to have fights this summer, the instructor spent the end of class telling us about his personal philosophies regarding fitness (go running) and staying healthy (drink a slightly absurd amount of water).
My personal philosophies differ from his in that I believe that every one should educate themselves on the different schools of thought about fitness and then figure out what works for them.
For example, I hate step-aerobics. I can say truthfully that I would rather have someone hit me with a baseball bat than participate in a step-aerobics class; I know this because I’ve taken a step-aerobics class before. To me, jumping around on a box to terrible music constitutes torture, but to some, step-aerobics are fun and a good way to work out. Just because I rather dislike step-aerobics doesn’t mean that they aren’t a viable workout for others. If that’s your cup of tea, by all means, have at. Everyone should find some sort of physical activity that they enjoy, or at least are willing to participate in on a regular basis.
In this day and age, with the national obesity rate on the rise, doing anything active is of paramount importance, especially if you’re just beginning to get in shape. On the Internet you can find a myriad of schools of thought that argue back and forth about functional strength vs. body building, cardio vs. strength training, kettle bells vs. dumbbells; however, unless you plan on being a professional athlete, there’s no reason to force yourself to do something that you hate because some gas-bagger on the web professes to have found the fitness program that turns average Joes (or Janes) in to Brad Pitt (or Jillian Michaels).
Most gyms (well, at least the gym that I box at and my local YMCA) offer the first class free, so you can check out something new with out committing monetarily. I think that this is an excellent idea because it allows people to experiment with different ways of getting in shape or exercising in a more relaxed group setting. The YMCA that I go to has a whole plethora of flyers advertising different classes, and as I was perusing them the other day, I noticed one for a “bike polo” group. I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to put people on bikes, give them racquets, and tell them to hit the ball, but I’m super stoked to impose my reckless zealotry and lack of coordination on to the other participants when I attend my free introductory class.