3 great lessons we can learn from exercise

3 great lessons we can learn from exercise

As those who know me will already be well aware, exercise is one of my core happiness and wellbeing strategies.

For me, exercise is a powerful stress reducer and a just as powerful happiness booster.

It helps me manage unpleasant feelings and allows me to enjoy more good feelings.

In addition, I’ve often said that there’s much we can take from exercise in addition to the physical and even the psychological benefits. And it would seem my good friend Sarah Berry agrees….

via the Sydney Morning Herald

Every time I step out in my mismatching socks, my uncoordinated workout gear and my daggy but comfortable trainers I remind myself of the athleisure illusion. Namely that the right clothes can make us look professional and confident (and momentarily make us feel more professional and confident – “enclothed cognition”), but can also just be a form of overcompensation: you know, all the gear and no idea.

On the other hand, the person in the random get-up may well be the one to show you up – like Cliff Young, the 61-year-old Victorian potato farmer who, in 1983 wearing overalls and boots, was nearly laughed off the road before he won the inaugural Sydney to Melbourne ultramarathon.

Like life, running is often sweaty and smelly, and it can make you want to cry. It can make us feel frumpy; inadequate if we think we don’t “look” like a runner or have the fancy accessories or it can make us feel fit; like liquid mercury, all quicksilver, fluid form and danger.

In fact, running (or insert your exercise of choice here) is a good metaphor for life on many levels and there are life lessons to be learned from the humble jog. Here are three.Advertisement

There is no one right way to do it

Despite the plethora of people who will tell you there is a single way to do it (life or running), there is not.

Kipchoge, for instance, is a midfoot runner whereas the majority of Olympic male marathon runners have a heel strike (67 per cent versus 30 per cent midfoot and 3 per cent forefoot). Usain Bolt, on the other hand, has a forefoot strike, like most elite sprinters.

And despite being the world’s fastest man, Bolt does not have a flawless, perfect-precision technique.

In fact, it’s what you might call remarkably imperfect: His right leg hits the track with about 13 per cent more force than his left leg. And his left leg lags on the ground about 14 per cent longer than his right.

Should he try and fix it? Nope.

“Correcting his asymmetry would not speed him up and might even slow him down,” researcher Peter Weyand told the New York Times.

Running (or your favourite exercise) is a good metaphor for life on many levels and there are life lessons to be learned from the humble jog.

He’s not the only winner with a unique style. World champion in the women’s 10,000 metres, Almaz Ayana has a difference of up to 20cm between the length of her right and left strides.

And even among those with a specific “style”, it’s not necessarily fixed. Our form can change depending on the conditions and our level of fatigue. Long story short, we can’t generalise or be reductive about the best way to do it (running or life) and the way we do it is often fluid. Perfect precision is a myth and does not determine success…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE