Beyond Sweaty and Breathless
Too often people equate training for fitness with workouts focused on cardio endurance or muscle strength. Afterwards, they are sweaty and breathless.
They are also relaxed and ecstatic - actually blissed-out on exercise-induced, feel-good endorphins released in their brains. The natural exercise high. Nothing wrong with that!
However, achieving real fitness involves more than that. Getting sweaty and breathless is the easy part, and not always the most important.
Once in middle age, the body begins to lose neuromotor control, meaning the brain doesn’t effectively communicate with muscle groups. Some of this is due to inevitable biological changes, but the process is accelerated by disuse of the neuromotor connections.
It’s a prime reason that adults start to look so awkward, graceless, slow and un-skilled when they have to perform many physical movements, especially those they don’t do often or avoid because we all live in environments engineered to reduce the need for physcial activity.
But life goes on, and real life is not engineered to keep us safe and sedentary. All kinds of movements may be needed at any moment. You may need to crawl, jump, squirm on you back, quickly accelerate and decelerate, catch something flying toward your head, get over or under an obstacle, quickly move a heavy object across a space. Any of these can cause frustration, embarrassment or injury if your body is not up to the task.
These movements are not about being sweaty, breathless, and blissed. They require practice to renew and maintain these vital neuromotor connections to synchronize and sequence movements over multiple joints, thru different planes of motion, with varying velocities and loads on your body. While practicing these, you may not get the bliss of a “workout.” However, you’ll be more life ready.
It’s like food. Desert is great, but to thrive you also have to eat your fruit and veggies.