Why is it so easy to be a couch potato and just lounge around doing nothing? Let me rephrase that: Why is physical activity, especially intense physical activity perceived as painful? Is perception the main issue? What if we could rewire our brain’s neural pathways to associate pleasure with intense physical activity, (I’m not necessarily talking about hard labour), and pain to being idle, and physically lazy?
There are many reasons why I bring up such a topic. Firstly, body type. It has been documented that human beings can be categorized physically, according to the metabolic rate, among other significant factors. These categories are: Ectomorph- hyper metabolism; usually of a skinny disposition; finds it hard to put on muscle; Endomorph- the opposite of the ectomorph, having a sluggish metabolism; has a predisposition to storage of body fat; looks round in appearance; can put on muscle fairly easily. The Mesomorph- this body-type lies between the ectomorph and the endomorph. The mesomorph has the optimal metabolism; can add weight easily, unlike the ectomorph, or lose weight quite easily, unlike the endomorph.
With regards to body type, an endomorph doesn’t have the luxury of living a sedentary lifestyle. The endomorph needs to be physically and mentally active. Also, the endomorph has to be very careful with his/her diet, unlike his/her counterparts of the ectomorph and mesomorph. I talk primarily from personal experience, as I have experimented with different fitness regimes and diets.
I followed the passive, vegetarian lifestyle, practicing yoga and pilates; nothing intense. Sure I became flexible, and could do headstands, but there was no improvement to my physique with regards to cardiovascular fitness. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but it’s as if practicing passive, and slow-movement exercises diminishes one’s ‘personal fire’. More on that later. On the lacto-vegetarian lifestyle, I ate plenty of carbohydrates, but no animal sources of protein, with the exception of eggs and milk. My main source of protein then, was soya chunks, soya burgers, soya links, and tofu. In hindsight, I would only stick to tofu, as the Japanese have used tofu throughout their history, it being a fermented soy product, as compared to the other commercial soy meat alternatives.
Having no significant results from that, except boosting my body’s supply of estrogen (which is definitely no good for a guy, who considers himself a man), I switched to a more active regime, both in diet, and physical activity. I started practicing karate; shotokan karate to be exact. It was twice a week, but boy did that vigorous activity get the oxygen flowing to my body and brain. My diet did include meat then, but was limited to fish and chicken; absolutely no pork nor beef (that was strictly because of preference). Imagine, just two days of two to three hours worth of vigorous intense activity, and my metabolism had already started to kick in.
So being ambitious, the next step was to increase the physical activity, which would result in increased caloric expenditure. This was done, with some interesting results.
Eventually, it all boils down to choice. We all know the advantages of exercising regularly. (We’re not talking about making an appearance in the gym and pretending to be exercising; no we’re talking about the type of exercise to raise your heart rate, which would increase your cardiovascular fitness). But it’ s so easy to get distracted and put it off. I used to make excuses. For over 4 years I made excuses, saying I would go to the gym the following month. 1 month turned into 2, then 2 turned to 4 and so on. Each month I delayed, I got even more de-motivated. I ate more crap. It’s a vicious cycle, because, you don’t make the decision to go, and you see people who are physically fit at the gym, and you use that as a reason for not going.
That’s where willpower comes in. You make the decision, and pull through. You don’t have to do it alone. You can always get motivation from a friend or relative who wants to go workout and shed some extra body fat. Additionally, you can cut out pictures from magazines, or print pictures from the internet of a person (athlete, celebrity etc) who’s body is the definition of fitness for you. I use pictures of the Universal Animal supplement bodybuilders. I also have a poster of this 27 year old bodybuilder called Brandon Curry. Also, I have a picture of sexy fitness models in bikinis, who I would love to date. Believe me, as a guy, a photo of a sexy gal in a bikini, with a flat stomach, and toned midsection makes you want to automatically suck in your gut.