It’s happened on a few occasions in the past, usually in social situations where I’m meeting people for the first time. Inevitably the ‘so what do you do?’ question gets asked.
I tell them that I’m a personal trainer and know a bit about nutrition too (at this point the conversation tends to go one of two ways). Most tend to nod fairly approvingly and although they might not have used the services of a trainer in the past, they have at some point considered it. The concept of doing some exercise and eating reasonably well is not completely alien to them.
Then there are the others. I’ve noticed over the years a slight narrowing of the eyes, a quizzical almost incredulous look; perhaps it’s unease? With these people there sometimes comes a level of almost hostile questioning. Invariably you find these people would happily spend more energy evading exercise than they would actually doing some. That somehow looking after yourself is just something other people do.
I have come to the conclusion that sometimes we try our hardest when attempting to justify something we know we should be doing but really don’t want to.
A repost I’ve heard in various forms over the years: “why would I work out for six months so I can live six months longer?” True, why would you if that were the only outcome? I try as politely as I can at this point to tell them they’re rather missing the point. Exercise and diet are not about increasing longevity, after all fit people die too. We can’t play God, but we can reduce the odds of diseases that could do us harm. It’s about the quality of life you have whilst you are here.
It’s not about becoming an elite athlete or living a monastic lifestyle, it’s about balancing out and evening things up. For example, if it were in your power to reduce, almost eradicate, the chances of getting the most common form of Diabetes (Type 2) and its associated illnesses, would you want to make a few adjustments if you could? If you could reduce the risk factors of many cancers because of their associated link with obesity, would you?
The thing is, it doesn’t take a huge leap to make a difference. Exercise and diet should be part of your life but they don’t have to dominate it, nor should they.
Education and access to information are key. Understanding what you can do to influence your future health is vital. Look out for our simple guides coming soon to get you started.