Your (Best) Life With Heart Rate Training
Written by Eric
Harr - for PolarUSA
The National Institutes of Health recently
reported that obesity has surpassed lung disease to become the #1 lethal
ailment in America.
This is frightening. Here we are in the year
2003 with exciting new health breakthroughs and soaring technology. We're more
awash in "diet books" than ever, we spend more money on our fitness and weight
loss than ever yet a record 300,000 Americans die every year from being
overweight. Something just aint right!
The problem is that now more than ever, you
want the "quick fix" fitness solution and youll pay dearly for it: The
Ab Blaster, The Melt Fat Away Pill, The Aerobic Conditioning Electoshocker.
You and I both know that smart exercise and balanced eating have been, and
always will be the fastest, healthiest, cheapest and most enduring solutions to
fitness and weight loss. But you wouldnt know that from the sea of "diet"
books, pills, potions and contraptions out there today. How can we reach our
fitness goals if were constantly looking outside to reach your fitness goals?
Relying on yourself to achieve your fitness
goals is the only surefire path to long-term success. I believe you dont
have to spend one penny to reach their fitness goals. Exercise should be about
letting go, stepping out of the box and "into" the world, getting sunshine on
your face, having fun. It should be easy, in the moment, efficient and playful.
None of this costs money and all of it will lead to extraordinary fitness
I believe in you. I believe you know your
body better than anyone else. I believe that if you stick to a few basic
fitness and nutrition rules, and you trust and listen to your body, you will
become the world's leading fitness authority ... on yourself.
So where do we begin? With a nice, easy
Training for and finishing an organized
athletic event - such as a 5k run - for a charity that is important to you, can
lead you inexorably, step by step, to your best life. It will raise your
standards, build your confidence, bond you with your "training buddies,"
balance your eating and appetite, provide a tangible goal, and by the way, melt
off all the weight in the world - without your even knowing it!
I am first-hand evidence of how
life-altering training for an athletic event can be. In 1994, I was an
overweight legal clerk working in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The extent of my
exercise was walking to and from the local mango stand for lunch. After hearing
about a "triathlon" being held on the island, I decided to go for it - for no
other reason than to get back into shape. I had no background in running or
cycling, but I knew I was headed down the wrong path of health. It took
courage, a leap of blind faith, to register for that race. But taking that one
simple step set hundreds of other steps in motion - all of which led to living
my very best life. And now I use my experiences from racing around the world to
help people use athletic participation to live their best (fitness) lives. And
it works every time. Every time.
A few years ago, I ran with the
Tendai Marathon Monks of Japan. The Tendai run a
marathon a day every day for 100 days as their path to spiritual enlightenment,
as a means to live their "best life." The Tendai are intrinsically
motivated to run. They run because of what it does for them, not how it makes
them look. That is the secret to staying motivated to exercise and ultimately
reaching your best self. Its got to be for different reasons than simply
looking good. Marcel Proust said: "the real voyage of discovery consists not in
seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes."
Here in America, exercise has become less
about self-actualization and more about counting calories. This type of
exercise disconnects our body, mind and spirit. How can we live our best lives
if our workouts are one-dimensional, overhanging chores in our lives? Exercise
is meant to enrich our minds and spirit just as it does our bodies. We must
redefine our relationship with our bodies and our exercise by focusing it
around camaraderie and personal growth, and most of all ... fun! We must assign
a higher calling to our fitness. Until you do, it will always be a struggle to
stay in shape. The best way to assign that "higher calling" is to build a
mini-community of two or more friends, commit to running the same event and
exercise together towards that goal.
Training for an organized athletic event
will help you see every workout, every experience and challenge as an
opportunity to grow and discover your best self. Its effects can last a
lifetime and will affect every area of your life.
Im betting that if just 30% of the
people who read my columns across the U.S. trained for and completed a 5k run
event each year that the obesity problem in this country could be cut by 10%.
Live your best life - and be part of the collective solution - by training to
participate in a local running event that benefits a charity important to