My brother cracked me up the other day. Heís a guy who has always been fit. Or at least, his idea of being ďunfitĒ means heís let himself slide to a degree of fitness most of us pine for. He told me heís planning to start running again, just as soon as he gets himself a new MP3 player.
You could plainly see he wouldnít put in a single mile without new gear.
Huh. That was illuminating. I always imagine that very fit people donít procrastinate, donít waffle, donít make excuses. I imagine that they are built of different stuff than I am. Because I have to force myself to exercise, I assumed that those who are naturally fit must live for it. You canít keep a fit person down.
Unless they donít have the right gear? Could it be that we are all the same when it comes to making excuses about exercise?
I am not immune. I am a bona fide gear nerd. I like equipment. I like a setting, the right shoes, the outfit, the measurement devices. New forms of workouts are more interesting to me when they require new tools. I can pore over product catalogs of gear Iíll never own for sports Iíll never try with the greatest interest, discernment, passion. How necessary is any of this gear?
Human beings have always been able to achieve great levels of fitness, lowered body fat percentages, stronger hearts, improved circulation without any equipment at all. You donít need the MP3 player, you donít need the DVD player, you donít need the microfiber, and actually you donít even need the shoes.
Just you in your skin using gravity and the floor can grow extraordinarily fit without any investment whatsoever. Try daily pushups, situps, and lunges for a few months to see what I mean.
If you want to build muscles and strength faster, you can pick up anything you have lying around the house to add weight to your workout. Soup cans, water bottles, milk jugs. You can tie athletic socks stuffed with rice or sand to your ankles for leg weights and climb up and down your own stairs. Duct tape reversed around your palms and the balls of your feet (let the tape pick up a lot of carpet fuzz or pet hair so it loses most of its stick first) can replace a sticky mat for your yoga practice. Dance to the beat of your own music to get your heart rate up.
Couch potatoes can do seated leg extensions and isometric leg presses, biceps curls and flyes during commercial breaks without ever leaving the couch. And never underestimate the effect that stretching everything out while chatting on the phone can have on your fitness and stress levels.
You donít need no stinking stuff to get in a good workout. Itís always fun to have it, yes, but not having it should never stop you. Figuring out ways to work around it can be pretty fun, if you like penny pinching. And these days, who doesnít?