So many guys know they need to lose weight, improve cardio health, and/or battle the decline of strength and flexibility. They know all the reasons why and they know reasonably well what to do. But still…time passes. Periods of resolve (especially around New Year’s) are followed by longer periods of less discipline. The body-and-soul health gap grows larger. And the long-term game plan to address it recedes into the fuzzy future.
In truth, do you recognize yourself here? This was me circa 2004 by the way, so please don’t hear this question as criticism or judgment. I’m describing, at least, a sizable minority of 45+ guys. Maybe even a majority.
If you’re one of them, I respectfully believe you need a different kind of 2018 New Year’s resolution, man. Not just to “work out more” or “join a new gym.” These kinds of resolution are easy to make but so hard to keep over time. (So is “eat better,” but nutrition is its own major topic and here I’m sticking to the exercise component of fitness).
Here’s a resolution that may sound harder to start acting on, but which is much more likely to really matter in your life. “In 2018, I’m going to discover and attack the root cause – cognitive or emotional – of my persistent under-attention to fitness and health.”
If you’ve been trying out yoga, you probably fall into one of two main camps when it comes to owning a yoga mat. (If you’re not aware of our Yoga Challenge and want to check that out for context, click on the “Yoga Challenge” link in the box to the left).
Maybe you ran out and bought one soon after your first class (the male stereotype is that we do love our gear, after all). Or, you might have figured you’ve got other stuff to worry about — like surviving challenging yoga practices — and using borrowed or rented mats seems fine for you.
In either case, if you’ve been stringing together some weeks of yoga and intend to continue in the new year, now’s a good time to think about a mat. Either your first one, or the one you wish you’d known to buy the first time around.
“What’s the big deal?” you might ask. What’s so great about the “right” mat? This is one of those things that’s best understood in the reverse. As in, what issues does the wrong mat bring? So let’s start off there — hopefully to motivate you, man. Then we’ll identify a number of mats that might have your name on them.
As part of our HIIT Challenge, I caught up recently with Carl Paoli to discuss his perspectives on HIIT and advice for OlderBeasts on how to incorporate it into our fitness. Carl’s a former elite-level gymnast, a well-known leader in the CrossFit world, a bestselling author, a corporate mindset coach, and an entrepreneur. Above all, he’s a longtime student of physical movement and physical education – and so it’s great to have his perspective! (You can learn more about Carl here).
OlderBeast: You’ve been deeply involved in CrossFit for a long time. With that perspective, was CrossFit essentially “HIIT before everyone started talking about HIIT”?
Does your tracker or sports watch have a heart-rate function? Or have you used cardio equipment with built-in HR measurement? If so, you may be aware of the so-called “Fat Burn” heart-rate zone.
I advise you to “mostly beware” of falling for the allure of this name, man. It sounds too good to be true. “Burn more fat with lower exertion than you would with higher exertion!” And it is too good to be true. However, low-intensity workouts in HR ranges labeled “Fat Burn” do have occasional purposes. Hence my “mostly beware” admonition.
Let’s walk through the facts and logic here, and you can make your own call.
It’s a privilege for OlderBeast to publish this guest post by Dean Pohlman, CEO & Founder of Man Flow Yoga. MFY is a great online resource for guys new to, or advancing in, yoga for fitness. I’ve been using it as part of my routine and I really like it. Thanks for your perspectives here, Dean! -Mark T.
In my experience, there are four types of guys who benefit tremendously from trying yoga. Are you one of them?
Unfortunately, some guys who would benefit from yoga can’t get past the popular misconceptions that it’s for girls, too spiritual, or isn’t hard enough. But if you’re secure enough in your masculinity to give yoga a chance (yes, I’m calling you insecure if your excuse for not doing yoga is “no way, yoga is for women!”), then invest a few minutes to see if one of these “yoga types” described below sounds like you.
Whatever type you may be, the bottom line is that doing yoga at least twice a week will help you move better, feel better, and even look better. Read on to learn how!
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have much to be thankful for this year, man. Even while you gratefully make note of all that, this is also a good time to think ahead.
What would you additionally like to be thankful for next Thanksgiving?
What if on Thanksgiving 2018 you could take a personal inventory and conclude:
1. I’m staying more motivated for fitness – and avoiding major backslides
2. I’m eating better (not perfectly, but better)…and I feel better for it
3. I forgive myself for not always following my fitness plans…but I hold myself more accountable to usually do so
4. I’ve varied my fitness routine, so I’m in better all-around shape than I was a year ago
5. I’m using exercise to better combat stress and make my life feel more spacious
6. If needed, I overcame aches-and-pains to do these things – instead of letting 2018 be a year of narrowing possibilities
Dude! That would be an incredible “thanks” list. So enjoy the coming weeks of 2017 wrap-up and holidays, yes. But I invite you to also make this time a springboard into a meaningful 2018. (Don’t wait for the cliched New Year’s Resolution.)
Here’s the why-and-how of six actions you can take, starting now, to add to your “thankful for” list for next year.